Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just Soup. From the Pantry. Spinach, Coconut Milk, Lemon and Chickpeas.

I like this soup so much that I couldn't get my memory card from my camera to my computer without pausing for a spoonful out of the bowl in my other hand.

The kicker is that I actually followed a recipe. When I woke up this morning I had white, Idaho, and sweet potatoes in my fridge, some garlic, a few onions, almond milk and lactose-free yogurt. Since it's the holiday season I'm trying to keep stock low to make space for cool opportunities to go out to eat and out of town family meals.

A few weeks back I saved a link to 25 Vegetarian Recipes you Can Cook in Under 30 minutes on TreeHugger so I decided to visit for inspiration. Vegetarian eating has been the way to go at home since I was forced to buy a new (larger) pair of jeans over Thanksgiving week.

Recipes that don't require a lot of shopping are my favorite, mainly because if I go in Whole Foods for a carrot I will inevitable come out with three bags of groceries and $100 "Whole" in my pocket. Plus it is winter now and the cold weather doesn't encourage me to leave the house. The soup I made for lunch today fulfills all my winter cooking requirements.

Back on TreeHugger, Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon caught my eye. Chickpeas and coconut milk are pantry staples and I discovered a nub of fresh ginger hiding under my potatoes. All I needed to make this happen was a lemon, some sun-dried tomatoes and a bunch of spinach.

Different versions of the recipe recommend serving it over a whole roasted sweet potato or basmati rice. I opted to roast cubed sweet potato and throw the pieces over the top for a slightly crunchy, sweet starch. I also sweated down my onions slower than the recipe recommended and only needed half a lemon worth of juice. The cool thing is that this recipe can get revamped if I add some curry or make some rice. I bet if I had used less of the ingredients I could have made a cold salad version of this, and used the oil the tomatoes came in to create a lemon vinaigrette.