January 19th, 2011

Red Curry Soup with Rice & Purple Kale

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Serves 8

Active time: 15 minutes || Total time: 40 minutes

For this recipe, I went into kitchen and stared at the kale for like a half hour. What would you like me to do with you, kale? Guide me, oh ruffly one! When that failed, I threw it into a soup.

The results were a grab-bag of texture! The kale is rugged and chewy, the rice is fluffed up and soaked through with flavor, and the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy, just the perfect sweet bite. All of this in a creamy, coconut base bursting with all of those sensuous red curry flavors. The gingery aroma will waft through your entire mansion! So stop spending money on scented candles, soup is the best aromatherapy.

Notes: Since curry pastes vary from brand to brand, start with 2 tablespoons and add more from there. I didn’t make this very spicy but I definitely serve it with plenty of Sriracha. If you would like to use brown rice, that’s fine! Just let it boil for 20 minutes more before adding the sweet potatoes and kale.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cups basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 bunch purple kale, pulled from stems and torn into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Juice of one lime

Optional: fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so, until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and saute a minute more.

Add rice, vegetable broth and salt, cover pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, lower heat to simmer. Mix in 2 tablespoons curry paste. Add kale and sweet potatoes. Cover pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

Add coconut milk, agave and lime. Taste for salt and flavor. Add more curry paste if you like.

Remove from heat and serve immediately, or even better let it sit for 10 minutes to give the flavors a chance to meld. Top with fresh chopped cilantro if you like.

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