Friday, April 13, 2012

What's for dinner? Carrot, Ginger & Sweet Potato soup

My New Year's resolution was to learn to cook. And like most New Year's resolutions I did it once on the third day of the year and then went back to my old ways (ie: letting Oliver cook every meal). In my defense I had a lot going on: I lost 10lbs in six weeks (which required extra evenings at the gym) and I got a promotion at work (which requires overtime at the office). Making time to learn to cook got pushed to the back burner. 

Also, I'll be honest, I have a motivation problem when it comes to cooking. I rarely come across healthy dinner recipes that inspire me to make a mess in the kitchen. Oliver's cooking style is so effortless. He doesn't follow recipes! He just throws ingredients into a pot and BAM - they're delicious. I want to cook like THAT. But getting to that level takes practice (practice, hmph). And that brings us back to my New Year's resolution...

Last weekend, while in Louisiana, I came across a recipe in a magazine that seemed tasty and easy. 'I can do this' I exclaimed to Oliver's grandmother. I copied the recipe down, brought it back to Atlanta and on Tuesday night I braved the kitchen alone for a Carrot, Ginger, Sweet Potato soup.

It went - okay. The actual recipe tasted  boring (meaning: what I made wasn't that good) but Oliver swooped in with a dash of paprika, the juice from one lemon, a second sweet potato and the recommendation that next time I use half a box of chicken stock combined with water instead of the full box the recipe called for.  

The good news is: my meal made a great lunch for two days. The more time it spent in the fridge the tastier it became (mixed with Greek  yogurt and chives it was actually good). Plus, I learned about adding acid (lemon) to recipes lacking brightness and I used the immersion blender all by myself (awesome).  I believe my New Year's resolution is back on track! 


  1. I hate buying soup, so unhealthy. I'm always looking for good soup recipes (especially ones that have already been "fixed"). Can I have yours?

  2. Basically cook everything in the photo (the can is white beans), then blend it. But don't because it wasn't that good. The chicken stock was a little too strong and there wasn't any acid.

    I think a soup like this would be better suited to a cream base since the veggies don't contribute much richness. Next time I think we would make it by sauteing an onion to almost brown, adding a cup of vegetable stock and a cup of water to a boil. Drop to a simmer and add two large peeled and diced sweet potatoes, about a half pound of chopped carrots and a fairly large chunk of peeled and crushed ginger. Simmer until tender, add a can of rinsed cannellinies, a cup of milk and a half cup of cream. Puree and salt and white and red pepper to taste. Keep it just at or below a simmer for about 5 more minutes and serve.

    Disclaimer: I just pulled that out of my a... err um... head. It may have way too much liquid.