Island Kale Sweet Potato Soup

- 2 tablespoons olive oil - 1 onion, chopped - 3 cloves garlic, minced - 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes - 3/4 lb. kale (lacinato is fantastic for this), tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded - 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes - 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock - 1 1/2 tsps. salt - 1 cup homemade “coconut milk*” or unsweetened coconut milk - 1 cup brown rice (either cooked or go to step 3) - 2 tablespoons hotsauce
I had some sweet potatoes and kale - it all worked out with this warming soup. 1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Throw in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Things should be smelling good now. 2. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 20-25 minutes. The potatoes should be tender - test one with a fork. Add the coconut milk and hot sauce (if you want) and just heat through. 3. If you don’t have some cooked rice handy, while letting the soup simmer, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the rice and boil until just done, about 15-20 minutes. Drain using a small colander. 4. Place a mound of rice in the center of a bowl and spoon some soup around the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut milk and regular coconut milk packed in so many extra calories and fat that I couldn’t justify using it, so I made my own and the soup came out fantastic. Place one cup soy or reduced fat milk and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer until thickened. Remove from stovetop and add 1 tablespoon coconut cream and a teaspoon or two of sugar. Stir and taste. Add more coconut cream and/or sugar if desired. It was a pretty convincing swap, but I’ve been reading some recipes that use almond milk and silken tofu with coconut extract or powder that do the trick as well. Experiment!