Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

It’s been far too long…sadly we have been cooking/baking things…but have had no time to blog about any of the recipes. Despite having 5000 other things, that I should be doing right now…I decided to blog at least one new recipe.

The month (November) has become tomatillo-inspired recipes. We had 5 tomatillo plants that produced enough tomatillos to feed a village. It is kind of comical that about 6 month ago, I didn’t know what tomatillos were and now I have already made 3 recipes with tomatillos.

This one was inspired by a recipe that a friend of mine posted on my facebook wall, after I had inquired about tomatillo recipes. Believe me, we still have plenty of tomatillos and if you know of other vegetarian tomatillo recipes, please DO NOT hesitate to share them.

This soup is likely one of my cold season favorite soups. It turned out spicy, tangy, and thick…perfect to dip homemade bread into. So here it goes, enjoy!

10-12 tomatillos, husked, washed, and halved (I used about 24 garden-grown tomatillos, they tend to be a bit smaller than store-bought tomatillos)
8 large garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
6 large cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable broth (4 cups water and 2 veggie bullion cubes)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups water (depending on how thick you want the soup)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation (4 servings)
1. In a large roasting pan, combine the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast in oven at 350 F for about 25 minutes.
2. While the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes are roasting, boil the sweet potatoes in the vegetable broth for about 45 minutes.
3. Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil, for about 5 minutes until the onion looks golden.
4. Once the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes are done roasting, blend the mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the tomatillo mixture and the sautéed onion to the sweet potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, then blend in blender for smooth consistency (alternatively for a chunkier consistency, you can just mash-up the potatoes with a potato masher or use an immersion blender).
5. Serve with home-baked bread and decorate with parsley leave. Enjoy!


Note: I have frozen a batch of this yummy soup. I will keep you updated on the taste and consistency, when I pull it out of the freezer.

Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

Recipe inspired by:

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Green curry with sweet potato and carrots

As promised, I would revisit the green curry. Tonight’s kitchen experiment can be called a success. Hans and I absolutely loved how this recipe tasted. We will definitely make this recipe again.

So, earlier today I came up with a list of vegetables I really wanted to be in this curry. The last curry contained sweet potato and eggplant. While I really want to like eggplant, maybe I just need to admit that it is not my favorite. So this recipe was to be eggplant-free. I decided to have sweet potato, rain bow carrots, and peas. Maybe next time I will use the chickpeas and green pepper as well.

Ingredients (4-5 servings):
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 sweet potato, cubed
2 rainbow carrots, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2 cube veggie bouillon cube
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
dash Cayenne pepper

serve with Jasmine rice

1. Heat oil in the wok with medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and curry pasta. Saute 2-3 minutes.
2. Add potato and carrots. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes. Then add the coconut milk, water, and veggie bouillon cube. Cover and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. (Make sure that the carrot slices and potato cubes are soft.)
3. Meanwhile cook Jasmine rice following the cooking directions as provided on the packaging.
$. Lastly add the peas, sea salt, and Cayenne pepper to the curry and heat through, another 5 minutes. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy.

Green curry with sweet potato & carrots served with Jasmine rice

Green curry with sweet potato & carrots served with Jasmin rice





Health benefits:
* Carrots and sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene, vitamins C and B, fiber, and iron.
* Peas are rich in vitamin C, thiamine (B1), fiber, folate, phosphorus, and iron.
* Coconut milk is naturally lactose-free.


Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant

I love eating curry but I don’t eat it very often. This is partially due to not eating out very often in Thai restaurants (maybe the Thai restaurants here aren’t so good?!) and not really knowing how to make curry.
Recently, I came across this curry recipe and I figured I had to give it a try.

Hans and I enjoyed the outcome, but I will have to work out some kinks to make this recipe better. Any input is GREATLY appreciated.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil (some extra oil to possibly add later)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 eggplant, quartered and sliced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut milk
1/2 veggie bouillon
1 cup water
(6 kaffir lime leaves, I could not find these and left them out)
1 orange sweet potato, cubed
2 teaspoons raw organic sugar (I would suggest only starting with 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lime juice (I used the juice from one lime)
2 teaspoons lime rind
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the onion and green curry paste and cook, stirring, over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. (Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the kaffir lime leaves.) Simmer until the eggplant and sweet potato are tender.
3. Mix in the sugar, lime juice, and lime rind. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed rice (we used Jasmin rice).

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with Jasmin rice

Green curry with Jasmin rice

* Make sure that the eggplant is small and skinny. Larger eggplants tend to have lots of seeds inside. I found those seeds a bit distracting in the dish.
* Make sure to get the lime rind before squeezing the juice out of the lime.
* While the taste of this recipe was good, I somehow felt that something was missing.

Recipe adapted from “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” (Murdoch Books)


Dutch Oven Tortilla Soup_Version 2

The possibilities are endless for this recipe. The ingredients can be changed up based on what is in your pantry or based on your likes. We modified version 1 to allow for more variability, if salsa is not available.

Ingredients (Makes 3 servings):
½ onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ green pepper, chopped
½ sweet potato, chopped
1 can (15 ounce) organic kidney beans, including liquid
1 can (15 ounce) organic cut tomatoes, including liquid
1½ cup water
1 veggie boullion cube (½ cube for 1 cup water)
1/3 cup black quinoa
taco seasoning, to taste (SEE BELOW)

1. Add all ingredients into the seasoned Dutch oven (8 inch).
2. Place Dutch oven on hot coals and heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
3. Enjoy with cheese quesadilla.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

Note: This recipe can be adapted to accommodate whatever you can find in your pantry. Need to use up potatoes and carrots. Just cut them into small pieces and add into the dutch oven. No salsa, just use a can of cut tomatoes instead. Kidney beans can be replaced by other type of bean, such as black beans or garbanzo beans.

You can see the quinoa opened up very nicely. Monitor the amount of water while cooking, add more if necessary.

You can see the quinoa opened up very nicely. Monitor the amount of water while cooking, add more if necessary.


Healthful benefits:
* Quinoa is glutenfree and rich in protein. It is also a good source of essential amino acids like lysine and acceptable quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
* Kidney beans are a great source of protein.
* Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C and E, beta carotene, iron, potassium, and bioflavinoids.
* Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and E, potassium, fiber, and iron.

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Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout

(From Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking)

3 cups water
1 medium dark-orange sweet potato, peeled, diced
8 ounces uncooked angel hair (capellini) pasta
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)
1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into slices (1 cup)
1 small yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into slices (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
2. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
3. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly soft. Stir in zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potato, salt, and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Serve vegetables over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout

Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout