Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Black Bean Salsa

One of my favourite things about living in this part of Australia is our summer thunderstorms. The dark clouds roll over head in the early afternoon and then just about three or four o’clock the first rumbles begin, swiftly followed by fat raindrops and wind that pushes the trees to and fro. These violent tempests usually don’t last long, and in the clearing of the clouds they leave the world shiny, washed clean, and you can smell the heat of life rising from the ground. I love running after a rainstorm. I love splashing through the puddles and seeing teardrops fall from the leaves. All the colours seem brighter, everything seems more alive, after a summer thunderstorm. After I get back from a run in the post-storm world, I love nothing more than a hot shower, and climbing into a comfy chair with a big bowl of spicy soup. Something fragrant that captures the spice of the ground outside, something thick and warming to my belly.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

A big bowl of soup might seem contradictory in the summer heat, but the trick is to match the heat outside with the heat in your bowl, and then add a dollop of something soothing and cool. This thick sweet potato soup has all the heat of a lightening strike thanks to a generous amount of chipotle, garlic, and ground spices. Before your eyes water too much, after ladling this soup into your bowl you add a generous spoonful of cooling black bean salsa. This avocado, coriander, and black bean salad will soothe your chipotle stimulated taste buds.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

If you are searching for an easy make ahead meal for the week, this soup is your answer. You can easily make this up to two days ahead. I would recommend making the salsa fresh on the day though. You want really fresh flavours from the avocado and I have found that even with the presence of lime juice, the salsa is best made just before serving. Even if you were to make the soup after getting home from work, you would get change from 60 minutes, which is exactly what I want when I get home from work after a long day!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI made this soup a few weeks ago, and my mouth is watering just looking at the photos again! I think you can all guess what’s on the menu for dinner tonight at our house! I can’t wait to get home from my run tonight and put a pot of bubbling soup on the stove. I love the heat of a spicy summer dish paired with a cooling garnish. For my northern hemisphere friends, this soup is a perfect reminder of the heat of summer and a celebration of fresh autumn produce!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Black Bean Salsa

Serves 4 generously | Vegan | Gluten Free | Leftovers will keep for up to 2 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge

Note: When it comes to pureeing the soup you have two choices: 1) Use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot; or 2) Cool soup to room temperature and blend in batches in your blender. WARNING: DO NOT BLEND HOT SOUP.

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (~800 grams / 1.7 pounds total)
  • 1 medium purple onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock
  • 3-4 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of Alana’s Spicy Mexico sauce (you could use 1 chipotle chilli in adobo if this sauce is unavailable where you live)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can use dairy/soy if you prefer)

For the salsa:

  • 1/2 cup black beans (1/2 400g can)
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 1/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Peel sweet potato and dice into 2cm (~1 inch) cubes. Peel and dice onion.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot over a medium heat. Add crushed garlic, diced onion, cumin, and coriander. Saute until onion is transparent and spices are fragrant.
  3. Add sweet potato and stir until the cubes are well incorporated and coated with spices and garlic.
  4. Dissolve vegetable stock in 3 cups of the hot water. Add to sauce pan. The stock should just cover the sweet potato. If required, add up to an extra cup of water.
  5. Stir in Spicy Mexico sauce and tomato paste.
  6. Turn heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once the liquid is boiling reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the sweet potato cubes are tender when pierced with a fork. This should take about 30 minutes. While soup is cooking, make salsa. See below for instructions.
  7. Add the lime juice, stir well.
  8. Remove soup from the heat and puree (see head note).
  9. Return pureed soup to pot and place on a low heat. Stir in milk and heat until gently bubbling.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a generous dollop of black bean salsa.

Making salsa:

  1. Place well rinsed black beans into a small bowl.
  2. Peel and dice avocado. Add to bowl.
  3. Thinly slice white and light green parts of spring onions and add to bowl.
  4. Gently stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  5. Serve with soup.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry

Recently I met a new friend at the wedding of two other new friends. This last weekend we all gathered in our newly-married mutual friend’s house sharing some wine and talking late into the night, really early into the next morning. This new friend is a busy professional woman and she often doesn’t get home until 8 o’clock at night! That doesn’t leave much time for making and eating dinner before falling into bed. Her dilemma got me thinking, after all, dinner is one of my three favourite meals of the day…

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I am lucky in my job that I get home after the gym most days with plenty of time to potter about the kitchen and make dinner for Chris and myself, but there are nights when I get caught up in something and don’t make it home until late. I feel like they become more common in autumn and winter as the days grow shorter and the night gathers her arms around us more quickly. I come home in the dark and still want the comfort of a home-cooked meal but I also want to be curled up on the couch with a book or watching television with Chris. Rather than pulling out the takeaway menu, or settling for beans on toast (which are a totally acceptable comfort food sometimes) I like to have some quick, healthy recipes on hand that I can throw together with barely a thought while I am catching up with Chris and trying to transition my brain from work mode to home mode.

This stir-fry is a recipe for one of those nights.

Anna, this one is also for you. (Thanks for reading my blog)

The chunky-cut mushrooms will provide B vitamins and minerals and fill you up without weighing you down. Easy-to-prepare rice noodles are my favourite way to imitate comforting takeaway without all the mystery ingredients and the sauce coats everything in a spicy sweet splendour. You can make this even easier by using pre-sliced mushrooms and broccoli, or even a stir-fry mix. From start to finish this meal takes about 20 minutes. I served Chris’s with some grilled lamb and mine in its original vegan state.

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Serves 2 with leftovers | Gluten free | Vegan

If you do not have Gourmet Garden Thai Stir-In Seasoning simply leave it out.

Ingredients

  • 250 gram packet dried rice noodles
  • 500 grams mushrooms (button, Swiss Brown or Cups are perfect)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • ½ head broccoli
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Thai Stir-In Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. Prepare rice noodles as per instructions on packet.
  2. Chop mushrooms into quarters. Peel and thinly slice onion. Chop broccoli into florets. Slice capsicum into strips.
  3. Whisk together sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce, Thai seasoning, and 2 tablespoons water.
  4. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and capsicum and cook stirring until onion just starts to turn opaque and mushrooms soften.
  6. Add broccoli and sauce and continue cooking until broccoli florets are al dente. This should take about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Toss through fresh coriander. Serve with rice noodles.

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life