December 10, 2009

Sweet Potato Soup

We're in full soup mode here at Evolution Kitchen, as Old Man Winter has wrapped his icy fingers around our home. We like a lot of different kinds of soup, depending on our mood. Sometimes we only want a thin, brothy soup. And sometimes we want a thicker, heartier soup. 

The following soup is more in the hearty category. It is quite creamy and has an excellent flavor.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup


2 T oil
1 onion, chopped

2 small celery stalks, chopped
1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 ½ lbs red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
4 c chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
¼ t ground nutmeg
1½ c  coconut milk


1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, saute about 5 minutes. Add celery and leek, saute about 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute about 2 minutes.

2. Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes).

3. Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot.

4. Add coconut milk and stir over medium-low heat until heated through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

December 6, 2009


This delicious dish from Kenya may have a funny name, but it is a seriously scrumptious meal. It originally called for chicken, but I have vegetarianized it with those Smart Chicken strips you buy at the store. You can get away with using just one package, but I find that my family picks out all the strips to nibble on, leaving little left for the actual dish, so adding 2 packages may work better.



½ c dried mung beans
1 (or 2) pkgs Smart Chicken Strips
½ t ground ginger
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and finely chopped
1 t lemon juice
1 c coconut milk


1. Either boil the mung bean for 35 minutes, or pressure cook. Drain.

2. While the mung beans are cooking, season the "chicken" strips with the ground ginger and a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the chicken strips. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. In the same pan, fry the onions and garlic for 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and chili and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the mung beans and lemon juice.

4. Pour the coconut milk into the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chicken strips. Simmer for 10 minutes.