Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
I never used to enjoy soups. Frankly, I didn't understand them. Is it a meal? Is it a drink? I don't know. They always left me feeling overly full yet never satisfied because did I take a bite? No, I took a drink...
Something seemed to change this last year as I set out on a goal of eating with the seasons. In the past, I had always forced myself to continue with raw foods and cold smoothies well into the winter months, but this year, the thought of that sounded less appealing. Instead, I felt my body craving warm soups and stews. A soup craving? Yeah, it was weird. But it makes sense given our bodies evolved with the seasons.
So as the temperature dropped, I thought... what kind of soup could I create that would leave me feeling more satiated? I needed inspiration. So I went to one of my favorite cookbooks, Naturally Nourished by My New Roots. Sarah Britton, the creator of My New Roots, is a culinary genius in more ways than I know how to explain, and her soup game... is truly on another level. In fact, in that book, she has an entire section dedicated to just soup! I had won the soup lottery.
As I started flipping through the recipes, I began to notice that the base of these soups was more than just water. Coconut cream, beets, winter squash, and sweet potatoes were common ingredients holding them together. Again, total genius! Cooked, starchy veg, is packed with fiber, and fiber fills you up! So, I began making soup after soup and found myself quickly falling in love.
Because of Sarah, I pretty much use starchy veg for the base of any soup I make. And it just so happens that a good chunk of winter vegetables like squash, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are quite starchy, which makes seasonal eating very easy.
Another trick I found to feel more satiated with soups is to add protein. While the soup is simmering in the pot, it's easy to cook up a protein source alongside it. I often go for grass-fed ground beef, but chicken, turkey, and / or marinated tempeh are excellent additions too. Add one of those to your soup and it'll round out the meal perfectly.
Before I go on to the recipe, I feel the need to preface one thing because I know someone will read it in the recipe below and think, shouldn't she know better... So, I must admit, I sometimes put hot water in my plastic Vitamix. Maybe you're laughing at that, or maybe you're confused. But I can think of at least one person who will see the recipe and think: shouldn't you know not to do this, you're a nutritionist. Yes, you'd be right. In fact, we learned just how terrible heating plastic is in school. I'm really not a fan of it either, I avoided it for a long time. But, the more you learn about the potential dangers in the world, the more you realize just how restrictive life can really be, and that's something I'm trying to let go of. In my opinion, we can only follow so many "rules" without going entirely insane. So, pick and choose your own battles. This is one I'm willing to sacrifice now and then for convenience.
If you hate the idea of this though, I get it. Instead, drain the water after boiling the potatoes, place them in the blender with room-temperature water, and blend. Pour the mixture back into the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. It requires a little extra time but if you have it, go for it!
Sweet potato: You can use less sweet potato, I've made it with one. Just note it won't be as creamy.
Ghee: This can be replaced with coconut oil or butter, both are wonderful. I recommend adding a swig of olive oil before serving. The extra fat will add flavor and help with digestion, especially if you don't tolerate starch too well (me).
2 medium sweet potatoes, about 641g, sliced
3 c hot water
2 c kale
1 Tbsp ghee
1/2 c fresh dill
1/4 c green onion
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp pepper
large knob of ginger (I used quite a bit)
pinch of cayenne (more if you like a little kick)
Chop the sweet potato into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick. To speed up the cooking time, cut the slices in half.
Place your ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the potatoes and mix to coat them with oil.
Once coated, add your water (some of this with evaporate as it boils). Add the sea salt and place over medium heat.
Let the water come to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Periodically check the potatoes with a fork. They'll be ready when you can easily pierce the potato.
While the potatoes simmer, prep the kale. Measure about 2 cups (feel free to add more), lightly massage the kale then place in the blender. Chop the green onion and dill. Add all remaining ingredients to the blender.
Once the potatoes are ready, add both the potatoes and water to the blender. Blend on high until it's well incorporated. Taste test and add to your preference.
Place back into the pot on simmer to keep warm until serving. Top with fresh dill, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil.
Hope this leaves you satisfied,