Sunday, October 4, 2009
Creamy Wild Rice Soup w. Sweet Potato Croutons
The world is gearing up for flu season, very seriously - everywhere I turn there is a flyer for a flu clinic, a vat of hand sanitizer, or a stockpile of herbal tea. Yesterday, I woke up to a gray rainy day with my first sniffles of the year. I think this soup is the perfect addition to the "stuck inside with a cold" blues - along side a new box of tissues, and in my case, the impossible to put down newly released Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol.
This recipe is another one of Heidi Swanson's wonders, from Super Natural Cooking, she describes it this way:
"A cold-weather soup if there ever was one--earthy, eclectic, and satisfying, with enough of a spicy kick to keep things interesting. Wild rice is cooked until plump in a rich, warm, curry-infused coconut milk broth. Each bowl of soup is topped with a crown of tiny, crisp pan-toasted sweet potato croutons."
Creamy Wild Rice Soup w. Sweet Potato Croutons:
2 tbls coconut oil or clarified butter (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tea red curry paste
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
4 cups water
1 orange-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Fine-grain sea salt
2 tea ground tumeric
1 tbl natural cane sugar
1 tbl shoyu sauce (or soy sauce)
1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
Squeeze of lime juice
Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat, then add the curry paste, garlic, shallot, and onion and saute for 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Make sure the curry paste is evenly distributed before moving on to the next step.
Stir in the wild rice and 3 cups of the water. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat a bit, and cook, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the rice starts to soften, split, and show its fluffy insides. That being said, a surefire way to know when wild rice is tender is to taste it.
Meanwhile, prepare the sweet potato croutons. Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the cubed potatoes and a few pinches of salt. Toss to coat the potatoes, then cook a few minutes longer, until they start to get some color on the bottom. Give them another toss to brown the other side, and continue tossing every few minutes to get more color and crispiness. If the pan dries out at all, add a bit more oil. When the sweet potatoes are cooked through and pleasantly crunchy, season to taste with salt, then scoop them out onto a paper towel.
When the wild rice is tender, stir in the turmeric, sugar, shoyu, coconut milk, the remaining 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir, returning to a simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes to meld the flavors. Remove from the heat and finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add a bit more salt if need be. When you go to serve, ladle from the bottom of the pot to make sure each person gets plenty of rice in his or her bowl, and top with a generous sprinkling of the sweet potato croutons.