Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sweet Potato Coconut Dhal Soup

Soup is my coping mechanism for really cold winter days. We're just ending an extremely cold dry snap where the temperature went as low as 26˚ degrees at night.  I know that may mean nothing to you, where you live, but this is the San Francisco Bay Area and I spent the last week scraping ice from my windshield, and my garden is a frozen mess.  I made lots of soup. 

This Sweet Potato Dhal soup was very warming.  Filled with dhal (yellow split peas), sweet potatoes, onion, tomatoes, ginger, and spices, this soup was spiced to warm the soul. You could add back some chili flakes to turn up the heat even more, I omitted them because of my allergies.  This soup turned out chunkier than I thought it would be, but that's not a bad thing. Perhaps I didn't cook it long enough for it to break down completely, but we really liked the chunkiness of it (is chunkiness even a word?). 

I found this recipe in a free Taste for Life magazine that I picked up in a store the other day.  The recipe was originally published in a book Take One Pot by Georgina Fuggle. Thanks Georgina, this was delicious!  You do have to plan ahead if you want to make this soup, the dhal should be soaked overnight or at least soaked in the morning of the day you want it for dinner.

She suggests that you garnish the top with cilantro, but because of the weather, there is no longer any cilantro in my garden or the store where I work/shop.  This is a really simple one pot meal that warms you to the core on cold winter nights, serve it with a crusty whole grain bread.

Sweet Potato Coconut Dhal Soup
Makes 4 servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
Adapted from a recipe by Georgina Fuggle

1 cup dhal or yellow split peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 15oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
2/3 cup vegetable broth (I use Imagine unchicken broth)
Cilantro for garnish 

Cover the split peas with cold water and let them soak overnight or all day.
Drain and set aside.
In a big soup pot, heat the oil.
Add the onion and sauté over med low heat for 5-8 minutes
Stir often so they don't stick and burn.
Add the seasonings and ginger and cook for another minute.
Add coconut milk, split peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes,  and broth and stir.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Serve with chopped cilantro on top.

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