Are your pants feeling any tighter these days? After an overly indulgent Thanksgiving, a fair amount of business travel (i.e. eating restaurant food and fast food for every meal) and more than a few early morning runs skipped because of chilly weather, I am not even attempting to fit into my regular jeans.
And it's not even Christmas yet! All of the magazines and Food Network shows are still harping about all the delicious holiday food we should be making, and all I really should be eating is spa food. But since when is spa food comforting and warming? Here's one example...
This is my Thai-inspired spin on a soup recipe I found on Whole Foods' site, which I think is a big improvement over their initial recipe. Their soup is overly gingery, and when I made it, I had the idea to try to blend that ginger explosion with some Thai flavors. And given my love for coconut (and its many purported health benefits), a Thai curry direction seemed like a great way to go. The result, if I do say so myself, was wonderful! Despite the addition of a little fat from the coconut milk, the soup is still healthy as can be, super easy to make and loaded with flavor, just what anybody would want on a chilly winter afternoon. It's also vegan and gluten-free, but doesn't taste like it at all.
Thai Curry Sweet Potato Split Pea Soup
8 1/2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cups dried yellow split peas
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch(ish) cubes
1 t. to 1 T. of salt, to taste
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut (unsweetened)
1 can coconut milk (regular or light)
1-2 t. Thai red curry paste, to taste
Bring 1/2 cup water to simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring. Transfer the onion and ginger to the slow cooker, along with remaining 8 cups water, peas, sweet potato cubes and coconut flakes. Cook on high until the sweet potatoes are completely tender and the peas are very mushy, four to six hours. (You could also cook on low for eight to 10 hours.) Carefully purée soup with a hand held immersion blender or in batches in (careful!) a food processor until smooth and creamy. Separately, thin out the Thai red curry paste with a little bit of the coconut milk, so that it will blend with the larger soup easily. Stir the coconut milk and curry mixture into the soup. Salt to taste and add more curry paste if necessary. Serves 8 or more.
Peeling the sweet potatoes
Dried yellow split peas
Rough sweet potato cubes... no need to get them perfect, since they'll just get blended later
"Sauteing" the onions in water keeps the fat down
Thai red curry adds amazing flavor and a little spicy kick
Coconut milk (light in this case) makes the soup taste so indulgent, but keeps it healthy
Nearly done cooking
Post-blending and with the coconut and curry added
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