Purple Cabbage & Sunbutter Soup

Alexander Allrich in New Mexico
Alex in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

The visit with Alex and his girlfriend was thick with conversation, food for the eyes, and dreams for the soul. As always, in the wake of my son's absence I am struck dumb by the restless silence of the desert, finding it difficult to steady my post-maternal footing. It's not the letting go thing. Letting go of your children is the easy part. Their beauty is astonishing and too big to keep for yourself. You miss them, yes.

But the space between you is precious, too.

It is their gift to you. Free space. A second chance to define yourself, reinvent yourself. Since the infamous hip incident, when I re-imagine my own future, I am editing small details. A Panatone 7487C Vespa, hot air balloon ride and Power Yoga are off the list (I am sorriest about the Vespa).

Hiking Tibet with Robert Thurman? Probably not. A day spent walking (or more accurately, tilting between pauses and lurches and perching on the car seat) in Santa Fe last week deftly humbled my sense of reality. I've decided to get myself a cane- purple, if possible. Or Panatone 7487C. I'd rather be mobile with a vengeance and a cane than not.

Temporarily stuck in the rural junipered hills north of Santa Fe I am imagining California. An oceanside studio. Bookstores. Movie theaters. A gluten-free cafe. A year-round Farmer's Market. Venice would work. Santa Monica. Well, yeah.

In the meantime, as I ponder and make lists, I hope you'll forgive me reprising an old recipe favorite- a redux with tweaks, if you will.

Purple Cabbage and Sunbutter Soup

Love peanut butter based soups but have a peanut-free angel? Sunflower seed butter is delicious in peanutty recipes. This soup can be as mild or as spicy as you like. We threw in a lot of spicy green chiles for heat, and holy mother of mamacita- it cured all ills.


2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons hot or mild Thai Kitchen curry paste, to taste
1 medium red onion, peeled, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled, diced
1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup roasted green chiles- hot or mild- chopped- or use chopped yellow pepper
3 cups light vegetable broth
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (aka Sunbutter) melted in a half cup of boiled water or broth
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk- or plain hemp milk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for heat, to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 fresh lime
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar, or organic light brown sugar, if it needs it
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For garnish:

Chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the olive oil in large soup pot. Add the curry paste and stir for a minute to infuse the oil with spice. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, cabbage, chiles or yellow pepper.

Stir and cook the veggies for 5 -7 minutes, until softened.

Add the broth, sunflower seed butter, coconut milk, red pepper flakes and cilantro.

Bring the soup to a high simmer, cover, and lower the heat; keep the soup on simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice and taste test for seasoning adjustments. Add a little agave or organic brown sugar, if needed, to balance the heat. Season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Taste again. Warm through.

Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.

Serves 4.

Karina's Notes:

This soup works well in a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Combine the ingredients in your cooker and follow the manufacturer's guidance for cooking vegetable soup. Terrific with my Sweet Banana Polenta Cake.


GFN Richard said...

Beautiful picture. Looks like a peaceful place!

Kalyn said...

You are such a great writer. I vote for Venice! Can't wait to see you there.

matt wright said...

This looks great!

Lynn Barry said...

Soup for the intolerant soul...glad you had a wonderful visit. HUGS and LOVE...

Devorah said...

This looks fabulous. I also wanted to tell you that I ordered your gluten-free goddess apron and wore it while making strawberry soup yesterday-- it made me really happy. (it's not warm yet in New York, but I'm pretending it's summer!)

Goddess Fan said...

Canes are sexy. ;) Keep your chin up.

Carmen said...

I've actually been very curious about purple cabbage in a while, so I guess now I have a reason to buy it when I go to the market next week!

And I love your style of writing.

lucette said...

This sounds amazing--I've already revised my shopping list.
I know what you mean about re-imagining--mine involves the knees instead of the hips though.

Andrea.Gyenge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RevSIGM said...

This soup ROCKED! I just made it and it was fabulous.

The directions mention yellow pepper, but it's not in the ingredient list. Should it be?

And it's all the more wonderful that the soup's from Ghost Ranch. I went there a few times in High School and fell in love with the place. 20 years later it still occupies a very special place in my heart. Gotta get back there!

Marla said...

Just wanted to let you know that I used your delicious recipe for the peanut butter chocolate bars to make p-nut butter cookies. I am the hero in my house right now! I omitted the choc chips and added some peanuts. Yea! PS Since my boyfriend has been eating all my great meals from recipes from your site, all his digestive problems have disappeared. He says to say thank you!

Karina said...

Thanks, GFN Richard! Ghost Ranch is beautiful.

Heya Kalyn! Venice + you + me = serious fun. ;)

Thanks, Matt; and Lynn!

Devorah- How sweet! Love it. Strawberry soup sounds sexy!

Thank you Goddess Fan. Will do. ;)

Hi Carmen! Thank you- glad you came by.

Hey Lucette- Knees? That's no fun. We'll re-imagine together. ;)

Hi Andrea! Thank you for such kind words.

The Banana Snacking Cake is based on almond meal, and frankly, I don't think any cake recipe made with nut meal will work egg-free. The egg replacer doesn't mimic the binding that egg whites accomplish- especially for coarse nut flours.

Try one of the corn bread or other bread/cake recipes with gluten-free flours- they respond better to baking without eggs.

Hi Revsigm- Glad you liked the soup! Sorry the words confused- I changed it to either/or. Thanks! :)

Hey Marla! Yay. Every gluten-free cook deserves hero status. Glad the cookies worked. Tell your BF- back atcha! Thanks for sharing.


Hope said...

Made this last night and again your recipes are the best ever! It came out yummmmmmy! I think I cooked it a lil longer so it became thick and I felt we could eat it with rice like a Thai curry! :)

Stella said...

I just made it for lunch... A magnificent soup with a divine taste, wooowww!!

Kim said...

Whoa this looks awesome, and totally perfect for a cold Minnesota winter day...I'm inspired. Thanks for sharing :)

naphtalia said...

My sister made welcomed me home with this soup tonight. It was the perfect touch to my day! I absolutely loved the soup. She actually didn't have sweet potatoes or beans for the soup today, so she put in carrots and chicken, since we aren't vegetarians. Would you mind if I linked this from my blog? My blog is all about embracing the beautiful moments in life and this was surely one of them! www.naphtalia.wordpress.com Thanks! Sommer

Gluten-Free Goddess eBook on iTunes