It's Thanksgiving week! Are you all set to go with your holiday meal prep? The hubs and I got placed on dessert duty which turned out to be a huge blessing since we've both been super busy with a lot of side projects 'eating' up much of our time. What about you all?
I always debate what meals to have on hand for the short week leading up to a holiday. On the one hand, you don't want to so much food that you're having to freeze a bunch in order to make room for Turkey Day leftovers, but you also don't want to be surviving off of carrot sticks and hummus until the big day. You know what I mean?
This weekend I was starting to run low on energy and feel a little punky thanks to several early morning wake up calls from a certain 7 month old roommate (hellooo baby growth spurt!). Whenever I start to feel a bit crummy I always turn to warm spices and herbs to get that circulation going and give a big boost to the immune system. So yeah, I guess you could say this was a baby-inspired meal 😉 Friends, please meet our Creamy Coconut Curry Soup. Smooth and buttery, with just the right bit of spice to help get you back on your feet.
I love throwing together a quick curry because you can toss in just about any veggie you have on hand and it is almost always guaranteed to turn out perfectly. The magic is found in the golden broth base. I mean, it literally glows:
To start, you'll bring together your all-star aromatics: fresh onion, garlic, and ginger:
And saute them to bring out their best flavors:
Next, you add in the real superstars: curry paste plus some additional turmeric. They may not look like much, but they pack a powerful, protective punch. We'll expand on that in just a bit:
Now, you add in your veggie broth and coconut milk. We opt for reduced fat coconut milk and puree veggies to get our thick and creamy consistency. The end result is just as wonderful, if not more so, than using the full fat coconut milk.
Then, you add in your potatoes and favorite non-starchy veggies. I like to keep the veggies larger in size for texture.
When the potatoes are tender, blend for a creamy, smooth finish!
Nutrition Notes: While curry pastes can vary in ingredients, they usually include a mix of turmeric, lemongrass, coriander, garlic, ginger, and of course, chili pepper of choice (yellow, green, or red) depending on what level of heat you are looking for; yellow is most mild, red offers the most heat. The spices used in curry paste have long been studied for their potential treatment or prevention of inflammatory diseases, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers, and may even help rid the body of toxins. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful polyphenolic compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties.
1 tbsp oil of choice
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and diced
2 heaping tbsp yellow curry paste
2 tbsp turmeric
1 ¼ tsp salt
5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2" pieces
2 bell peppers, diced
4 Yukon gold or sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
3-4 celery stalks, chopped into 2" pieces
2 15.5 oz cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk (can use reduced fat or regular)
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onions begin to turn translucent. Add curry paste, turmeric, and salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until mixture is well combined and fragrant. Note: If mixture is too dry, add a few tablespoons of broth to prevent burning. Add broth and coconut milk and bring to a light simmer. Add potatoes, carrots, peppers, and celery and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove 2 cups of broth and potatoes and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add potatoes* back to soup pot and stir well. Add beans and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 more minutes and then remove from heat.
*For a thicker broth, puree an additional cup of potatoes.
Serve soup with brown jasmine rice (we find ours at Trader Joe's) or garlic naan bread.
Nutrition Facts (makes 6-8 servings)
Calories - 430 Fat - 19g Carbohydrates - 51g Protein - 12g Fiber - 11g