Posted by: Rachael | September 9, 2010

Feeling like the Fall

Ok, it’s official….fall has arrived. And no, I’m not saying that because it’s September, or because it’s noticeably cooler outside, or even because my morning commute is 10 minutes longer due to school bus traffic. In my mind, fall became official when I came home from work this afternoon and saw this waiting for me on my doorstep:

Food Network magazine is pretty much my favorite reading material…ever. There’s no better way to pass an hour on the treadmill at the gym than by thumbing through one of these babies. Couple that with the fact that this month’s issue is devoted to Halloween and I’m pretty much in foodie heaven! Cannot wait to break this open on the Stairmaster tonight – I can already tell it’s going to be a good workout!! I think I somehow knew that fall was on its way last night because I decided to whip up a huge batch of my favorite seasonal comfort food – SOUP! I was really craving something I could make and take to work every day for the rest of the week. I also needed to find a use for all of the carrots I got in last week’s CSA veggie bounty. Unlike every other veggie lover/normal person in the world, I am not a carrot fan – but these carrots looked so fresh and delicious I just had to find a way to eat them that didn’t involve dousing them in ranch dressing. The solution?  Coconut Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup!!

Mmmm how beautifully fall does that cup o’ soup look! Last year, I attended a cooking class with Susan Garth, a local chef, restaurateur, and blogger. The theme of the class was soups, and we learned how to make 5 amazing concoctions, one of which was a delicious Thai coconut soup made with carrots that I (shocker) absolutely loved! While the original version was fabulous, this time around I modified the recipe to make it a bit healthier and to incorporate more of the veggies I had on hand. Here’s what you need to whip up a big batch of orangey goodness:

  • 6 medium carrots (washed but unpeeled), sliced thinly crosswise
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium white onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon roasted red chile paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand, which is available in most grocery stores)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1-2tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • Non-fat greek yogurt (optional garnish)
  • Raw cashews (optional garnish)

To prepare:

First, heat a little butter or butter-flavored cooking spray in a large pot over low heat.
Add onions, red pepper, curry powder, and some salt and pepper. Cook until veggies begin to soften, about 10-15min.
Add sweet potatoes, carrots and ginger to soup pot. Add cold water to just cover all the veggies.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 min until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.
Remove a bit of the soup broth into a cup and stir in the red chile paste to dillute it (it is a thick paste) and then add this back to the pot.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Using an immersion blender or blender, puree soup. Add agave/sweetener of choice to taste (you can leave this out if you think the carrots are sweet enough). Return soup to stove on med-low heat. Add can of lite coconut milk, mix well over heat and let cook for 5 min more to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve hot and garnish with yogurt and cashews if desired.

…and VOILA! Fall in a bowl. You can freeze this and save some for a chilly day, or if you’re a nutter like me, you can take it in every day for lunch and make the whole office smell like coconut curry! Trust me when I say the color of the soup alone is quite the conversation starter! If you guys do end up making this, let me know what you think! Hope you love it as much as I do!

In other news – I’m running my first half-marathon EVER this weekend! Eeeeek! I’m a bit nervous but I’ve been training well and can’t wait to check out this awesome course in Manchester, VT. I’m hoping there will even be some fall foliage to keep me occupied for the 13.1 miles! Wish me luck!

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