The first drive home after the switch to non-daylight savings time is always rough. You leave work in twilight, arrive home in total darkness, and feel like crawling directly into bed. Although today was relatively warm (71 degrees!) for early November, a quick and tasty soup still felt appropriate. Here’s a quickie made with leftover coconut milk from the very successful African Peanut Soup we had last week. (Which disappeared almost instantly.)
Red Curry Vegetable Soup
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (or yellow, or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 cup thinly-sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
Saute onions over medium heat in a bit of water until slightly soft. Add garlic and remaining vegetables. Stir in curry paste and cook briefly. Add vegetable broth and simmer until vegetables reach desired doneness. (I like mine a little crispy.)
Add coconut milk and heat through for about 5 minutes. Makes about 2 generous servings.
Put some beans in a large bowl (or big pan) of water before you go to bed. Cook them up for breakfast or dinner (takes about an hour) the next day.
CAUTION: The chipotle-scented steam will make your house smell fantastic, but DO NOT inhale it from directly over the pot! I speak from experience.
1 lb dried black beans
1 dried chipotle pepper, broken into chunks
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Soak, drain, and rinse beans as directed on package. Add beans, chipotle, garlic, cumin, and bay leaf to cooking water in a large pot. Cook beans as directed, about 1 hour. Add salt after cooking.
Remove pepper chunks after cooking, or smash and blend into the beans for extra spice. These are even better the next day.
PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart begins tomorrow. I’m going to give it a try. I don’t feel like I’m “giving up” all the things I can’t have (or more accurately, that I choose not to have). I see it as an opportunity – for better health, to reduce my footprint on the world, and to discover new tastes. Many of the dishes I already love are vegan. Like this one, a family-favorite Indian dish. It’s easy to prepare in a slow cooker, and the chickpeas turn out perfectly.
If your slow cooker has a removable stoneware crock like mine does, you can even assemble it the night before and store the crock in the fridge, then pull it out in the morning and plug it in. Dinner will be waiting for you, and your house will smell amazing.
Crock Pot Channa Masala
1 29 oz (large) can chickpeas, undrained
1 28 oz (large) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamom pods
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 tbsp garam masala
few dashes cayenne (or more to taste)
Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours, with the lid off for the last hour so it can thicken. Serve with hot cooked basmati rice or naan, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.