Fall is my favorite season. And so far this fall is shaping up rather nicely. Thank you, Vancouver, for the sunshine, the warm days and the crisp evenings. You are a pleasure! I’m sure when the rainy, grey days seem to never end I’ll be thinking differently, but for now, all is good in my blissful autumnal world.
This past weekend, I got into the kitchen with the purpose of making it smell like fall. I wanted to make a soup stuffed with orange things: sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots. And I wanted the warm smell of curry to perfume the air and make everything cozy. So I chopped all my vegetables into a fine dice and got this soup going quickly. It’s an easy one and perfect to whip up for a weeknight meal. My husband and I were heading out to a show that evening (the band Caribou was in town & we weren’t going to miss them again), so this was a meal that could fill our bellies and give us the power to ride our bikes to a show downtown on a Sunday evening.
Now, as you can tell from the photos, this soup became more of a stew as I got caught up in cleaning and tidying. Now this wasn’t a bad thing. For my husband, an infamous soup-hater, this was in fact a wonderful thing! However, I do think this dish would work a bit better as a soup, especially since the vegetables are so small and uniformly diced. And I kind of miss soup because I am – unlike my husband – a bona fide soup person. The addition of rice in this dish is a nice element and because it’s incorporated into the dish rather than alongside, I think this gives more sway to the soup-side.
I used 2 kinds of curry paste as I was finishing one jar and starting on another. One was mild and the other was spicy and the flavours combined to a lovely lingering spice. But if you love your curry hot or mild, use what you like. But soup or stew, I’ll leave it up to you and your preferences.
Elsewhere: I’ve been around all over the place in the last little while. Keep up with my every-Wednesday posts at Poppytalk where you’ll find me mixing up a lemon curd & yogurt breakfast parfait that tastes exactly like pie, stuffing a slew of peppadew peppers, whipping up homemade pizza pockets, and waxing about my sausage-making roots as I give a recipe for spicy sausage and peppers. At ReadyMade, I discuss some of my favorite tips for not wasting food and give a little looky-loo for the quick meal standby: the pita pizza.
curried sweet potato & rice autumn soup/stew
1 T olive oil
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 sweet potato (yellow fleshed), finely diced
1 yam (orange fleshed), finely diced
1/2 c rice (I used a mix of white & brown)
2 T curry paste
pinch of salt & a good grind of black pepper
water or vegetable stock
1 t maple syrup (optional)
In a large pot, heat olive oil and add in carrots, onion and celery and saute until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the yam, sweet potato, rice and curry paste and let everything get coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour water or vegetable stock over everything so the liquid level is about 1-3 inches above the vegetables. Use less liquid if you want a stew, more liquid if you want soup. Turn down heat to a simmer, put on the pot lid and let it bubble away for 20-30 minutes. Does it need more liquid? Add it, otherwise it’s done when the vegetables are tender. Finish it off with a small glug of maple syrup, stirring it into the mixture before serving into bowls.