Curried Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is a wonderful, fragrant, slightly sweet, slightly spicy and completely delicious.  It’s a perfect warming soup for the last cold days of winter.  This is always a big heat for a group, and except for dicing tons of sweet potatoes, it’s easy to scale up or down, and is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Curried Sweet Potato SoupCurried Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4 as a side

Adapted from a magazine cut out but I’ve lost the source

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half and half
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • pumpkin seeds to garnish

In a pot, melt butter and saute shallot and sweet potato until shallot is tender, about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with curry powder, then stir in flour.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat (don’t let it heat too quickly or the bottom will burn) for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the half and half and the peas, let soup heat through.  Serve with pumpkin seeds.

 

If you have a crowd to feed, here’s the portions I used to serve 35:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 large shallots, diced
  • 10 huge sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 gallon fat-free milk
  • 1 quart (fat-free) half and half
  • 1 large bag (about 22 oz) frozen peas

Follow directions above, although everything with obviously take longer with the large pot.

Banana Leaf Vegetable Curry

I made this dish for Tuesday’s School of Christian Living.  It was a big hit.  This comes by way of another church lady, but she got it from Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook.  There are no bananas, leaves or banana leaves in this curry, so I’m not sure where the name comes from…might have to find a copy of the book to figure it out.  Despite the lack of banana leaves this is one tasty meal!

This curry has a great blend of flavors.  I was surprised to see cinnamon in the mix, but it was a nice touch–adds some warmth but isn’t overwhelming.  I made this the day before, and realized I should have waited to add the raisins until just before serving it.  They added a little too much sweetness since I added them early, but they’re a really nice touch.  Served with brown rice, this is a flavorful, unique (vegan) dish!

Banana Leaf Vegetable Curry

Serves 20

Adapted from Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp good curry powder
  • 7 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 5 Idaho potatoes, washed and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp agave
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (28oz) large can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 cups toasted coconut, for garnish

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add curry powder and stir for another minute.

Add carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broth, agave, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  15-20 minutes before serving, add garbanzo beans, raisins, and tomatoes.  Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and toasted coconut.

Curry Chicken Salad

I made this recently for my dad’s retreat.  It’s a great make ahead meal and combines some great surprising flavors.  This is another recipe from a woman who used to go to my church.  Further proof  that church ladies know good food, see here and here for the other proof.

Curry Chicken Salad

Serves 6-8

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 lb cashews, toasted
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 Tbsp curry powder, or to taste
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.  Allow to cool and chop in to bite size pieces.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Chill for several hours.  Serve over salad or on bread or crackers.  (If not serving on the same day, add grapes and cashews shortly before serving so they don’t water down/get soggy.)

Island Lime and Coconut Chicken

I LOVED this chicken.  The marinade for this was absolutely delicious.  The combination of spices made me feel like I was on a tropical island!  The coconut milk keeps the chicken moist and tender.  Don’t be afraid of the heat, it was just the right amount for a very subtle kick.  My eight-year-old cousin liked it, it’s definitely not a spicy dish, just very flavorful!  I can’t wait to make this again.

Island Lime and Coconut Chicken

Serves 6

Adapted from Pinned by Dani

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime zested
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced

Cut chicken breasts in half.  In a large ziploc bag combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours, at least two.  Heat a grill pan (or grill) over medium high heat.  Cook chicken on each side until cooked through.  Pour the left over marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, or until thickened.  Once chicken is done, pour cooked marinade over top and serve.

Curried Couscous Salad

Sorry for being so slow getting last Tuesday’s recipes posted!  It’s been a crazy week!  I unexpectedly had to go in for a physical to make sure I’m in good health to donate bone morrow through DKMS Americas.

Sandra (right) and me (left) at our catering event

Then I worked with my friend, Sandra to do a big catering job.  So for three days we were SUPER busy making food for 100 and preparing the picnic on Saturday afternoon.  As soon as that job was done I came down with a bad cold (probably exacerbated by not taking care of myself in the hot weather on Saturday).

And then yesterday I had to send off one of my very best friends as she prepares to move to Colorado for a new job!  Sorry for the delay, but hopefully these recipes are worth the wait!

For the end of this four-week term of School of Christian Living (my Tuesday cateringgig), I knew I wanted to keep it simple and cool.  It’s already getting to be pretty hot and muggy, so I didn’t want to have to have the oven or stove on for very long.  In my recipe browsing I came across a recipe for a Curried Couscous Salad in Vegetarian Times cookbook.  I was intrigued, but it combined the greens of a tossed salad with the couscous.  I decided to keep the tossed salad and the couscous salad separate.

I was extremely pleased with how this salad turned out.  It came together really nicely and is super versatile, so feel free to add whatever you have on hand.  I think some frozen peas would be great, you can use shallots or red onion instead of the scallions.  Get creative!

I’m not a big fan of raisins, but have found that golden raisins have a delicious sweet taste, and mixed in with a salad I don’t mind the texture.  If you refrigerate this salad the raisins get plumped up adding a huge burst of sweet flavor.  If you can’t get past the raisins try dried cranberries, currants, or just extra dried apricots.  I also meant to have toasted slivered almonds to sprinkle on top, but I forgot them in the oven (I did remember to turn the oven off…), and forgot to add them every time I had leftovers as well.  I think it’d be delicious!

This is also the prefect salad for picnics or BBQs, it can be served at any temperature and will be fine sitting out for a while.

Curried Couscous Salad

Serves 20

  • 4 cups uncooked couscous
  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous
  • 9 cups water (or stock)
  • 2 1/2 cups (1 box) golden raisins
  • 2 cups dried apricots, chopped
  • 3 large (29oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large bell peppers, diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches cilantro, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 6-7 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil, then add the 4 cups of regular couscous.  Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and allow to sit for about 5-8 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.  Fluff couscous with a fork when finished.  In a separate saucepan toast the Israeli couscous for a few minutes on medium-high heat.  Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until couscous is tender but still chewy.  Drain any excess water and mix in with the regular couscous (in a ridiculously large bowl, or divide into two large serving bowls).

Add the raisins, chopped apricots, chickpeas, peppers, scallions, and cilantro.  In a large measuring cup, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.  Allow to sit for at least an hour for the flavors to blend.