JAPANESE SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH RICE & NORI CROUTONS
Serves 6 This creamy vegan soup is topped with crispy rice “croutons” laced with seaweed; we used crumbled nori, but kelp or dulse flakes would work as well. 1 cup sushi rice 1 large shallot 2 garlic cloves 2 large Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed ( about 2 ½ cups), or regular sweet potatoes cups vegetable stock 1 15 oz. can coconut milk 2 Tbs. red curry paste, or to taste ⅓ cup crumbled toasted nori Sesame oil for frying croutons
1. Rinse rice in colander until water runs clear, not milky. Combine rice with 1 ½ cups water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let cool.
2 . While rice is cooling, combine shallots, garlic, sweet potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in coconut milk and red curry paste, and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer to blender or food processor, and purée until very smooth. Return to pan to keep warm.
3. While soup is cooking, stir nori or other seaweed into rice. Form rice into 1- inch balls and flatten slightly. Heat sesame oil in large, heavy skillet. Fry croutons 4– 5 minutes per side, until golden.
4. To serve, divide soup among individual serving bowls. Top each with croutons, and serve immediately.
Per serving: 330 cal; 7g pro; 18g total fat ( 14g sat fat); 40g carb; 0mg chol; 410mg sod; 3g fiber; 4g sugars