If there is one meal or food I could eat every day, rain or shine, day in and day out, it would have to be curry! Hands down. Like it doesn’t really have any competition (at least in my belly).
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Endlessly versatile, curries are usually packed with vegetables and you can swap out the protein for whatever strikes your fancy, from eggs to chicken to pork to beef, tofu or tempeh. Or beans like chickpeas are always in style too! So, it’s no surprise that I latched on tight as soon as I saw the Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup recipe in Karrie Truman’s gorgeous new cookbook, Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity.
With chicken for protein, creamy coconut milk, your choice of curry powder (and you can change up this recipe simply by experimenting with a different curry powder), a little fresh jalapeño for spice, some dried basil and cashews, this is the kind of meal I love to make any day of the week. And if you’ve never tried warm cashews in soup or stew before, you’re missing out. They are a lovely addition!
Another bonus is that if your cupboards are anything like mine, you could probably make this recipe almost entirely from regular pantry staples. For me, I’d just have to pick up a jalapeño pepper. This recipe is also a speedy one: 15 minutes or so and it’s hot, ready and on the table! A perfect dinner or lunch option to warm you when the weather is still holding on to the chill of winter.
A few other recipes from this book that are on my meal plan to make this month are Karrie’s:
- Cashew Mushroom Fried Rice
- Hazelnut Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Blueberry Orange Smoothie Kits (how useful are freezer smoothies for busy mornings – I love this, don’t you?)
- Venezuelan Steak
- Morning Energy Bars (chocolate, coconut, peanut butter all in one recipe… sounds irresistible)
- Easy Pesto (I’ve never met a pesto that I didn’t immediately want to inhale!)
- Lip-Smackin’ Chutney (with cilantro,jalapeño, mint, garlic and spices, this is food I could live off of)
- Avocado Crema (I make a similar dairy-free version and it’s spectacular on fish tacos, perhaps my second favourite food after curry!)
They all look delicious and even though not all of them are gluten-free (and I am), I’m confident that most of them could be tweaked so my family and I could enjoy them.
One caveat I’ll say is that it might be hazardous to peruse the pages of this delectable cookbook when you’re already hungry because you’ll be ready to eat every recipe *right now* and there’s a chance you could end up with a speeding ticket when you rush off to the store to get any missing ingredients you’ll need to cook up a storm! Of course, I kid… but only a little.
Batch Prepping Freezer Meals
Because this is first and foremost a cookbook for batch prepping freezer meals, Karrie provides an EXTENSIVE How To section on freezer meals, including how to keep and store these ready-to-eat meals in the freezer. She conquers some of the common myths about freezer meals and gives a thorough overview of your must-have freezer kitchen materials and equipment.
She includes a handy vegetable blanching guide and typical freezer shelf-life info for some common ingredients. And as someone who wholeheartedly makes use of her freezer for easy meals (some for meals, but primarily for prepped ingredients from my garden or my family’s large farm garden), it is SO helpful to have all this information in one spot! I also found her prep guides incredibly useful for preparing for a big cook day, both in terms of planning a master list, creating a meal assembly plan, and managing your big cook day wisely.
Karrie provides detailed recipe instructions for making each recipe into a freezer meal to be enjoyed on future occasions (and the ingredient scale-ups for 1 to 5 batches – endlessly useful to feed a small family like mine or a BIG one like that of my Italian boyfriend’s), as well as the instructions for making and serving the recipe right away. Now without further adieu (and if you’re a big fan of curry like me), here is Karrie Truman’s recipe for Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup for your dining pleasure.
Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup (from Seriously Good Freezer Meals)
One of my most requested recipes from family and friends is this coconut cashew curry soup. You will love the rich taste, deep flavors and crunch of the salty cashews.
- 2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic salt
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
- 1 tsp (5 mL) minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper
- 2 cans (14 oz/398 mL each) coconut milk
- 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth or Homemade Chicken Stock (page 349)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) curry powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- 11/2 tsp (7 mL) dried basil
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) salted roasted cashews
- Chopped fresh cilantro optional
- Small fresh basil leaves optional
- Sliced jalapeño pepper optional
Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt. In a large wok or skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until smoking. Working in batches, add chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until no longer pink inside and slightly crispy on one or two edges. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, combine onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño; blend on High until smooth. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, curry powder, salt and pepper; blend until smooth.
Make It Now: In a large saucepan, combine chicken and any accumulated juices, coconut milk mixture and dried basil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to deepen flavors. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and top with cashews, plus cilantro, fresh basil and jalapeño, if using.
Make It a Freezer Meal: Let chicken cool completely. Pour chicken, coconut milk mixture and dried basil into a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze. Place cashews in a quart-size (1 L) freezer bag and seal. Place both bags in another gallon bag and seal together.
Thaw and Cook: Place soup in refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours to thaw, or run lukewarm water over bag until you can break soup apart. Pour bag contents into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to deepen flavors. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and top with cashews, plus cilantro, fresh basil and jalapeño, if using.
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf
I recommend that you keep your copy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity right on the kitchen counter because it’s the kind of cookbook that you’re guaranteed to get a lot of use out of.
Whether you’re new to freezer meals or whether you’ve been making them for years, you’ll find lots to love about this unique, beautifully designed cookbook full of scrumptious recipes!
Life is a plate… Eat up,