Homemade Ramen

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We have a sad state of affairs here in the US of A. It is widely accepted that ramen, which in reality is a tasty treat that punches you in the face with savory goodness, is a packaged POS loaded with sodium and MSG. Oh sure, some clever folks will take the noodles, toss the “flavor packet” (ie, poopie pouch), add some julienned carrots and various vegetable florets, and call themselves the next Emeril. And this is appealing because that fleeting mistress Time beckons everyone to do other things in life, rather than spend a few more minutes crafting a meal that’s actually worth eating.
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Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

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Wake up and smell the pumpkin spiced lattes Northern Hemisphere, because fall has officially arrived. Maybe we get it a bit later in California and maybe we don’t feel it as acutely as the show-off New England crowd with their big fancy leaf festivals and their crisp breezes, but we FEEL fall just as much as the rest of you. And, to top it off, we don’t have to deal with that horrid snow stuff that turns to slush stuff and ice stuff and cold stuff.

But I will turn the conversation back to food, something we can all agree on is what keeps this party going.

Soup is THE best comfort food (aside from fattie delicious fried stuff) on a cold night and it has the added bonus of having a gagillion healthy options. Gagillion– that’s a technical term, by the way. You should probably write it down for future reference in a novel or something.

My friend is about to bring over some home made bread to go with this delightful intro-to-fall-soup-a-thon, so here it goes. Enjoy!

And isn’t that a beautiful bunch of purple kale?

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Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
2 t paprika
1/4 t cumin
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 c rice
1/4 c lentils
1/4 c white wine
6 c stock, heated
1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and coarsely chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
grated parmigiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato, 1 t paprika, cumin, and 1 T olive oil on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until sweet potato is fork-tender. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. When hot, add the diced onion and cook until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 t paprika. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and white wine, then the stock. Simmer until rice and lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add kale, beans, and roasted sweet potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve with grated parmigiano on top.

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