Something that never ceases to amaze me is the versatility of vegetables. I try to use the lesser-known ones too, mostly to show you what to do with them when you see them and to highlight their nutrition stats, but if all you can find where you live are the most basic of veggies, you can still make a huge variety of recipes.
Take a look at the vegetables used in this recipe. They’re just the everyday stuff found at the farmer’s market or any grocery store (where I live). But this soup tastes rich, exotic and nourishing, not at all like a yawning fridge.
It’s not just the ingredients that are approachable in this recipe. I could have chopped up the ingredients with one hand; you just need big rustic chunks, nothing fancy or involved. The spices are ones that we use all of the time and hopefully you have on hand too (except for the curry leaves, which come dry or fresh, but you can leave them out if you can’t find them).
Normally with a soup like this, I would finish it with a couple of buzzes from the immersion blender or a portion of the soup blended in the blender and returned back to the pot. In this recipe, we use a potato masher because fewer dishes, sleeping baby and ‘I wonder if this will work’ feelings (it totally did and I like the results way better than what the other two options would have accomplished).
If you aren’t making this in the abundance of late summer you could use canned/jarred tomatoes, and, although we prefer to make our own coconut milk and soak/cook our own beans, I’m beginning to really understand the beauty of nourishing speed dinners and wanted to let you know that canned beans and coconut milk would also work well in this recipe.
The spices take this summery vegetable soup to a warming early fall place. I love that we can do that this time of year. The early fall air is the same, hints of warm summer mixed chilly fall moments is exactly what this soup tastes like.
There is nothing but nourishing goodness in this recipe and is so worth making even just to have for dinner and then store in your freezer for when you’re having an apples with almond butter week. We talk a lot about how good it is for you but if cilantro is your sworn enemy, replace it with parsley, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, napa cabbage or anything else that speaks to your belly this week.
We turned this soup into an Indian curry, but leave out the spices, add water in place of the coconut milk and finish with fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil instead of cilantro and you’ve got a homey Italian soup. Or leave out the liquids entirely, the beans and the spices, finishing with olive oil and maybe some pine nuts and you’ve got a rustic ratatouille.
I don’t want to brag but guess who ate an extra mashed version of this for dinner? That’s right, if my awesome baby is going to turn into a grilled cheese maniac by this time next year (she’s not) (is she…?), I’m going to have pictures to show her of back in the day when she mmmmm’d her way through TWO bowls of Indian curry soup.
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1300g Roma Tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
- 1 medium Red Onion, chopped into large pieces
- 1 large Yellow Pepper, chopped into large pieces
- 1 large (700g) Eggplant, chopped into large pieces
- 2 medium (350g) Zucchini, chopped into large pieces
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 inches Ginger, grated
- 2 c cooked Navy Beans
- 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 branches of Curry Leaves (optional)
- 2 tsp dried Turmeric (4 tsp if using fresh)
- Several grinds of Black Pepper (to enhance turmeric absorption)
- ½ tsp ground Cumin
- ½ tsp ground Coriander
- ¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
- 2 c Coconut milk
- 2 c Water
- 2-4 sheets of Kombu
- 1 bunch Cilantro, roughly chopped
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- In a large pot, melt the coconut oil with ½ c of water and sauté the onions, eggplant, ginger, garlic and curry leaves until the onions and eggplant soften.
- Add the mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, peppers, navy beans, kombu, coconut milk and water, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer.
- Put a lid on top and let simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Turn the heat off and using a potato masher carefully mash up the veggies in the soup until it thickens up a bit (wait for it to cool if you're afraid of hot splashing).
- Adjust Seasoning (salt)
- Stir in the cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
- (Leave the kombu in, even as you freeze it, it will continue to break down into the soup without changing the flavour).