Weather: 35 degrees, clear with stars twinkling
What I’m listening to: wind gusting
As we experienced our first light snowfall of the year this week, I find myself not even remotely prepared to let go of fall. In Alaska, it’s so impossibly brief, particularly for my love of fall food. Fall flavors are my favorite flavors of the year. As the autumnal colors began to show brightly on display outside the windows, the same colors have a way of appearing in our kitchens and on our plates. Golden leaves outside would translate to yellow-fleshed acorn squash or the skin of fresh, juicy pears. A carpet of red shrubs laying low to the ground would be reflected on our menus by way of plump cranberries, an abundance of crisp apple, or a spicy red curry. The brown soil dampened by fall rain would inspire the use of warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove or the savory earthiness of wild mushrooms. It’s all enough to make you want to throw on a scarf and kick up your feet by the wood stove with a nice book and a steaming cup of satisfying homemade soup. The snow can melt away and return another day. I’d like to cling to fall a bit longer.
This hearty pot of red curry lentil and sweet potato soup captures so many of the flavors of fall that I love. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes and coconut milk perfectly offset the heat from the red curry. The lentils thicken the soup and bring loads of healthy protein to the meal. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro brightens up the bowl and reminds us of the last remnants of summer’s green still hanging on outside the window.