Soup is a tradition for Solstice (OK, so, fine--a tradition of two years). The wife of one of my spiritual mothers makes a delicious vegan bean soup for their Solstice party. It’s fortification for the late-night labyrinth walking and firepit gathering.
I brought the soup described below to new friends’ house and one of them suggested I bring it to their Solstice party. It’s a bright, sturdy soup to celebrate the return of the light.
Since I made it to travel, it’s some-assembly-required and I present below the instructions as I made it. It could be assembled in a more traditional way, all in one go, but it's helpful to know you can assemble it at your leisure as you are busy, busy, busy in December.
Sweet Potato Solstice Soup
2 onions, 1 red and one sweet Peruvian
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
4 sweet potatoes, washed and pricked all over
3 beets, trimmed
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and sorted
4 cups water
1 16-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown rice miso
4 1/4 cups water, divided
4 cups kale
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweet potatoes and beets (top-scar-side down) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut onions into 1-inch chunks and in a large bowl toss onions and garlic with oil and spices. Spread onion mixture on baking sheet. Place onions and garlic, and sweet potatoes and beets in oven and roast for 1 hour, stirring up the onions around 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when tender and set aside. When beets and sweet potatoes are cool, peel them and cut into bite-sized chunks.
While vegetables are roasting, bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 25-30 minutes or until lentils are completely mooshy.
To assemble: preheat a large (6-quart) pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and peanut butter. Stir around peanut butter to melt. Add more spices here if you so desire. Shake the coconut milk and add to the pot. Add the roasted beets and sweet potatoes and half of the lentils. Add four cups of water (alternatively, rinse the coconut can out twice into the pot). Bring to a boil and add the kale. Stir around and reduce to a simmer. Dilute the miso in the remaining 1/4 cup water and add to the soup. Simmer for five minutes then serve.
We had the soup on top of the steamed kale and dal rather than with these items cooked in the soup. I didn’t take a picture of the final product, so here’s a picture of the ingredients laid out and ready to travel.
Blessings to you and your loved ones as you celebrate the return of the light!