I've somewhat foolishly signed up to do the Oxfram Trailwalker this year - a 100km walk through the Dandenongs over the course of a weekend, inevitably resulting in pain, tears and ruined friendships. Our team decided to make use of the Easter weekend to get a last burst of training in and headed out Warburton way to sample a section of the trail.
Sadly, Melbourne's forecast of 'a few showers' turned out to be more like 'buckets of freezing icy rain,' leaving me wet, cold and cranky on my return home. Luckily, the meal I'd planned for the evening was the perfect antidote - a spicy, thick soup, bursting with flavour and loaded with fresh veggies.
It's another recipe from Isa Does It and had the twin virtues of being pretty simple to make and being able to thaw the ice in my bones. There's a bit of veggie chopping required to get yourself set up, but from then on it's a big one-pot dish that simmers away quietly filling your house with wonderful aromas. The curry paste and coconut milk give everything a very Thai feel, while the root veggies and kale give it a slightly heartier vibe and the lime juice adds a bit of zing. Now I just need to convince Cindy to make this on the weekend of the actual walk - I can't imagine a better dish to come home to.
Sweet potato & red curry soup with rice and kale
(based on a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Isa Does It)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3/4 cup jasmine rice
4 cups veggie stock + 2 cups water (use 6 cups of stock if you've got it)
2 tablespoons red curry paste (we use Maesri)
the leaves from 1 bunch of red kale, shredded
half a sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
400g can coconut milk
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon maple syrup
fresh coriander for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a big pot and throw in the onion and one teaspoon of the salt. Cook for five minutes or so, stirring often, until it's softened up.
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute or so.
Tip in the stock and water, the rice, and the rest of the salt and cover. Bring it all to the boil.
Once it's boiled, drop the heat until you get it at a nice low simmer. Throw in the curry paste, kale, sweet potato and carrot and stir everything together thoroughly. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the coconut milk, lime juice and maple syrup, stir in some of the coriander and kill the heat.
Serve, garnished with remaining coriander.