Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet Potato Soup with Greens

I love soup. I could probably prepare and enjoy a soup every night of the year. A base of some good broth, whatever produce we brought home from the farmers' market plus maybe some meat ~ that's the soup. And it's always good. This winter season I have been attached to making soup this way: lay down a base flavor ~ usually starting by simmering a chopped onion in the broth; then a veggie such as stewed tomatoes, roasted winter squash, carrots, or in this case, roasted sweet potatoes with the skins. I puree that. Then I add a chopped or chunked veggie that adds texture. This often includes a dark leafy green. We eat a lot of dark leafy greens. They are oftentimes delicious in soups. Last night's ingredients were intended for a soup to take to a friend who recently had a healthy baby boy. But we sure did enjoy it. ;-) The three different dried peppers cut the sweetness of the potatoes three different ways. Leftover, it was probably even better.

Sweet Potato Soup with Greens
serves 3-4 depending on your sweet potatoes, the water you add, and the size of your bowls
A quart of good chicken broth ~ homemade or of equal quality, or homemade veggie broth
A mess of sweet potatoes roasted at 400 until soft, cooled, then sliced into 1/2 inch pieces ~ as many as you can fit between your two hands without dropping them (before they're roasted) ~ I used "Japanese sweet potatoes", but use your favorite, or what's on hand. In America, Sweet Potato = Yam = same thing.
Three large cloves of garlic ~ two crushed well with the side of your chef's knife, the other sliced thin
Dark leafy greens ~ I used what they call a "braising mix" at the farmers' market = an assortment of young kales, collard, chard, etc. ~ equal in precooked volume to the potatoes, chiffonade
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
*Fresh* red pepper flakes
Smoked paprika
Sea salt to taste ~ start with 1/2 teaspoon
Water as needed

In a pot or dutch oven, warm the chicken broth slowly up to a boil. Add the crushed garlic and simmer until the garlic is soft. Add the sweet potato slices and simmer. Puree till smooth (there's that handheld blender again!). Toss in greens and garlic. Cover. Simmer until greens get a little darker than just wilted. Add vinegar, spices, and sea salt, adjusting as needed. If it's too thick, add some water and bring back up to temperature. I think it's better at the consistency of thick soup, as opposed to a soupy baked potato... This is hearty.
Serve with a salad and some craggy hunks of bread to dip in the soup.

Read about that charming label.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Apples for Anjali

bake, covered.
fill ice cube trays.
pop out and
store in freezer bags.
pull out individual cubes
thaw to serve,
or leave frozen for teething.


(as in ~ i am inspired)
i ordered this book and it came in the mail yesterday. i had other things on my mind to accomplish yesterday evening after helping the babe to sleep, but i at least wanted to crack the book open to take a little sneak peek! and i read 100 pages. guess i like it. ;-) full of love, of family, of life, and of food. and full of delicious recipes that, now that i come to think of it, mostly are falling into the dessert category so far. i recommend.

Friday, March 20, 2009


say it. "squashmoosh." purse your lips when you say it and let the "sh" sound trail a little long. it is as yummy to eat as it is to say.
i roasted a simple butternut squash with nothing really in mind to do with it. once it cooled, and i tasted it, it really didn't do that much for me compared to the many winter squashes i have delighted in. i looove em. so i thought i'd make a pureed type of side dish, adding a little sucanat to make it more pleasing. but first i added butter. lots of butter, like almost a whole stick. then i tasted again. what?! it tasted so sweet, it no longer needed sugar! dashes of cinnamon and sea salt = it was deeeelicious. now, i know that vegan sympathizers and hold-overs of the low fat epidemic will insist that a roasted winter squash is perfectly tasty without anything added to it. i agree; it would have been good with nothing but its wholesome natural flavor. but with the added butter, it was *deeply satisfying.*


astonishingly already thinking about what to feed the tot, this will definitely be in the winter repertoire. and i know it seems too simple to write a recipe about, but ~ try it. i am in love with my handheld blender and rarely use the stand-up blender anymore for these kinds of things. so that's what i recommend (i found mine second hand for 99 cents!!), but a blender works, too, just so long as you leave the lid open if pureeing hot squash and protect yourself by covering it with a towel. or wait till it's cooled and heat it up again to add the butter.

serves 4 - 6 as a side dish
butternut squash
sea salt

cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and place face down on a buttered baking dish. roast at 400 until very soft when pierced with a fork. let cool. scoop out the seed and discard. scoop out the flesh into a pot and mash by fork, or puree with a handheld blender (or scoop into a blender, puree, then transfer to the pot). warm gently, add butter, and incorporate as it melts deliciously. add sea salt and cinnamon to taste.