Last week I attended a cooking class at the Sephardic Community Center with Peter Berley, former executive chef of Angelica Kitchen in NYC. His cooking style is based upon the macrobiotic way of eating that was SO popular in the 80′s and 90′s. He now still uses his skills to whip up quick and simple vegetarian meals, and we were so lucky to share some of his recipes and easy healthy tips in the kitchen.
I especially loved his Sweet Potato Soup, so right after the class, I ran to buy some collard greens (which is supposed to be healthier for your digestive tract than steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage- read more about collard greens HERE) and a jalapeño pepper. I already had a some coconut milk sitting in my pantry just begging to meet that can opener. The ginger, sweet potato and spices are regulars in my fridge. Within 20 minutes I had everything chopped and in the soup pot.
I also have a bag of Jasmine Rice has also been sitting on my kitchen shelf, and after hearing that rice may have arsenic leached within, I’ve been staring at it longingly waiting to hear any good news about poison in rice on CNN. Here’s another report link by ABC NEWS, (also please be educated and informed about possibly avoiding rice cereals for infants). I decided to skip the Jasmine rice addition until the rice companies decide to literally clean up their act.
Anyways, the soup was piping hot within the hour, and it was just in time to be served with my Grilled Miso Salmon.
I hope that you get to try this recipe. It was SO delicious! I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of Peter Berley’s cookbook but you can get it on Amazon just in time for the holidays!
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Ingredients for the soup:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium)
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper with seeds, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 small bunch collard greens, tough stems removed, and leaves cut in half along the rib, and then crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish
Here is the brand of LITE coconut milk that Peter recommends:
1) In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the rice, butter, and salt with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat, and cover the pan. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice begins to stick on the bottom, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready to serve.
2) In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté until softened, for 3 to 4 minutes.
3) Add the sweet potato, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, coriander, and turmeric, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water, the coconut milk, and 2 teaspoons of salt, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
4) Add the collard greens to the soup and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add a bit of water if the soup is too thick.
5) Ladle the soup into 3 or 4 wide soup plates, and top with a spoonful of jasmine rice. Squeeze lime over all and sprinkle with cilantro.