Sunday, January 12, 2014

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

A new year, the Gregorian calendar tells us.  What will 2014 bring?  For me, it brings a return to blogging.  Inspired by my time at the Atlanta Veg Fest, I am recipe developing and testing once again and posting the results here.  I am still pretty busy in my non-blogging life, but I realized that I really needed the creative outlet that is this blog.  Plus, I met so many great people in Georgia who love what I do, even though I had not been doing it for a while.  So thanks to everyone: the people who email me about the recipes they like, the almost 27,000 likes on Facebook, the amazing people I have met in person during my travels, etc., etc.  Here's to the vegan family in 2014!

This Christmas Santa brought me a Breville FastSlow Cooker--a slow cooker and a pressure cooker all in one.  My mom never was into the whole crock pot thing, so it's not something I am familiar with.  If you are also unfamiliar with the ways of the slow cooker, this recipe will show everything you need to know.  The beauty of slow cooking this soup (besides dinner being ready when you come home from work) is that is makes the chunks of sweet potato tender and delicate without being mushy and breaking apart in the broth.  Delightful.  This soup is reminiscent of Indian dal, and so its warm spices and hearty lentil goodness are perfect for a cold polar vortex kind of day.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 cups of sliced onions (halve and slice onions, then measure)
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced (optional, or more if you want more heat)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 cups of peeled sweet potato chunks (large, but still bite-sized)
- 1.5 cups chopped tomato (canned or fresh)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 6 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 tsp salt (or as needed, to taste)
- chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

This method is for the Breville FastSlow Cooker.  You may have to adjust for your own appliance.
1. Set the slow cooker to the saute setting.  Sauté onions for 8-10 mins, until deep golden brown.  Add garlic and jalapeno (if using) and sauté for 1 min.
2. Add spices and sauté for 1 min.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Adjust salt as needed (it depends on how salty your broth is).  Put the lid of the slow cooker on and cook for 8 hours.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Top with chopped cilantro if you like it.  Serve.