Friday, September 26, 2014

Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup

Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup
Here's a great soup to get your fall in gear. It's simple (if I make it, you can bet it's easy to prepare). I made this soup while visiting a friend who moved away.

Two other friends and I flew to Southern California to enjoy a few days with a girlfriend who moved closer to her grandkids—her son needed help and she rose to the challenge. I offered to cook all the meals during the visit because I've learned that I won't get decent food (or any food... hello, breakfast is the most important meal of the day) unless I step up. Thrilled about having me cook for them, they were eager to see what and how I cooked.

It's just easier for me to cook than give the cook instruction for my eating lifestyle. In this case, the cook was primarily my friend's husband and he wanted to learn more about eating healthier.

I sent a shopping list of groceries to get ahead of us arriving. We would stop for the rest of the items on the way from the airport at their local Trader Joe's.

One thing I didn't plan on was the lack of cooking utensils and pans. Yikes! Who doesn't have a spatula in their kitchen? Well... apparently quite a few. I made do with what I had, but I had to get creative when I steamed the broccoli without a steamer—I do not use a microwave for cooking. Microwaves don't cook—they agitate molecules. I'm not eating agitated foods.

I cooked quinoa for breakfast, preparing it the way I eat it at home on a regular basis. I brought a large bag of my homemade trail mix for snacking and adding to breakfast. Since we went out for Mexican food one night, I only needed to cook two dinners. Roasted salmon with raw veggie salad and steamed broccoli was on the menu one night. The other I cooked Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup.

Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup

from Chris Pedersen
yield 4-6 servings

category Soup
cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian

We visited Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside 
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained OR 1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp of finely diced ginger
4 C (32 oz carton) low-sodium vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, fire roasted or regular
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
sea salt to taste
2 C yams, peeled and chopped to 1" thick cubes
2 C fresh baby spinach

1. If using dried chickpeas, soak in water over night and pressure-cook with salt for about 10 minutes before using in the recipe.
2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger then cook until onions are translucent—about 5 minutes.
3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, seasonings and chickpeas. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes—until flavors combine. Stir occasionally.
4. Add yams and cook another 15 minutes until yams begin to soften. Test with a fork.
5. Add spinach and stir to wilt—about 1-2 minutes
6. Serve

My girlfriends (and one happy husband/cook) were amazed at how good the food tasted and vowed to continue eating more plant-based meals. Here's to your health.

Have you ever had someone cook for you and made adjustments to your eating/cooking as a result?


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