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Author Notes: The recipe is adapted just slightly from the inimitable Heidi Swanson, who writes and cooks at 101 Cookbooks and is the author, most recently, of Near & Far. It's comforting but not a bedtime lullaby; it's rich but not macaroni and cheese; it's vegan; it comes together in less than an hour and in just one pot (and one blender); it's just as good cold from the fridge.
The original recipe uses only brown rice (which makes it gluten-free!) and skips the fresh curry leaves (with which I am particularly obsessed). Heidi also recommends you use sorrel, with its citrusy tang, in place of the spinach and lime juice when you can find it, and suggests swapping out the delicata for other winter squash (though you'll need to peel thicker-skinned acorn, kabocha, or butternut).
For instructions on how to prep lemongrass, look here. —Sarah Jampel
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, minced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 10 or so curry leaves, divided (optional but worthwhile)
- 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 5 cups water
- 4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided
- One 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 small serrano or other hot chile, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cilantro (stems are fine), plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion tops, bottoms reserved for serving
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for serving
- 1 or 2 small delicata squash, cut lengthwise then cut into 1/2- to 1/4-inch half-moons
- Heat the olive oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, 2 teaspoons of ginger, coriander, and 5 of the curry leaves and cook for a few seconds, just until fragrant. Add the rice and farro and stir constantly until the grains are toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Stream in the water slowly, while stirring, and don't be alarmed when the heat causes the water to bubble. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the salt and let the soup simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the rice has cooked through and many of its grains are bursting.
- Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the coconut milk, remaining 1 tablespoon ginger, remaining 5 curry leaves, chile, cilantro, scallion tops, spinach, lime juice, and remaining salt. Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust as needed (add more salt, more lime juice, or more spinach).
- When the porridge has been cooking for about 25 minutes, add the herbed coconut milk and the squash. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Taste for seasoning.
- Ladle the porridge into bowls and top each with reserved chopped scallion bottoms, a small pile of chopped cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, and a wedge of lime.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!