No doubt there is some Kentucky soup I could feature, but I don't know what. Yesterday in our meeting we were learning about the impact of hunger around the world, focusing particularly on Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo. Two projects that are underway in those countries are to grow the moringa tree. This tree, which can grow in even the worst of soil, has edible leaves, roots and pods. It is a source of vitamins, of iron and of calcium. Its leaves can be eaten like green vegetables, or dried and ground into flour that can be mixed into porridge or made into cookies!
Well, I have no moringa soup recipe, but many parts of the world depend on sweet potatoes for food, so how about some sweet potato soup?
CARIBBEAN SWEET POTATO COCONUT SOUP
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2-1/2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon salt
8 cups of water or homemade vegetable stock
10 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/4 cup dark rum
2-1/2 cups pineapple juice
Two 14-oz. cans reduced-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and celery in the oil until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Cover the pot and stir often to prevent sticking.
Add the ginger, curry, nutmeg, bay leaves, and salt and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the water or stock, sweet potatoes, grated orange peel, and rum. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pour the pineapple juice and the coconut milk into the soup pot. Puree the soup in a blender in batches until smooth. Stir in the lime juice.
If desired, garnish with cilantro or scallions and/or toasted coconut.
This is an adaptation of a Moosewood recipe.