Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What I had for supper

So I had a cold.
I say had because the cold- for the most part- is gone. I am ever thankful for the hearty constitution that is the legacy of my peasant and Native American ancestors-though it does seem to have bypassed my back. Oh well, can't win them all.
As I mentioned yesterday, I am brilliant and had the foresight a while back to put some easily warmed up meals in the freezer(as well as that wonderful loaf of bread). And since I was a sicky and didn't really want to cook, I pulled the most delicious and hearty soup from the freezer.
This is a recipe from Africa adapted to my taste and I am surprised that it is not a staple of Southern cooking as so much of that is heavily influenced by the foods and cooking techniques brought to the Americas by slaves so long ago. Anyway, I'm not here to give culinary history lessons-though it is a fascinating subject-but to share a wonderful and deliciously different soup that is very economical to make and very satisfying to all your senses( yes, even hearing since the "Mmmm, that's good!", "I love this soup!", "Can you make that soup again Mom?" etc...are definitely a delight to my ears!) I write my recipes a little differently so please read through before starting and remember "mis en place" is a good cooks best friend!

Sweet Potato Soup

Heat in large stock pot or Dutch oven at medium to medium high:
2 T vegetable oil

1C onion chopped
1T garlic chopped
1T chili powder
1t kosher salt
1/2t cayenne pepper(optional but please try it!)

Saute until onions are almost transparent.

1/2C or about 3 average size carrots diced
1/2C or about 2 celery stalks-with the leaves!-diced
1 red bell pepper or one jar roasted red peppers diced (it is possible at my grocery to get a jar for $1.89 that contains about 3 whole peppers where as 1 "fresh" in produce can cost more than $2-get what you like as I've used both with excellent results)
2 C or about 1lb sweet potatoes peeled and diced

Continue to saute a couple of minutes.

Pour in:
4C chicken broth

This will deglaze the pot. Be prepared! Those spices will hit you right in the nose so take a step back if you're especially sensitive.

Stir in:
2C cooked shredded chicken (I almost always use leftover rotisserie chicken for this)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatos-I like fire roasted myself
2/3C natural peanut butter( again, I use the store brand at about $2 a jar, please don't use one of those whipped hydrogenated types because it will make a big difference)

Bring soup up to a simmer and and keep it there about 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. At this point you may want to add up to a tablespoon of sugar or even more salt, to your taste.

From beginning to end this should take maybe an hour with 30 minutes of active work. Broken down its about 15-20 minutes for prep, 10 minutes assemblage, and up to 30 minutes simmering.

Accompany this delicious soup with a nice crusty bread and dinner is served!

This recipe serves my family of 4, with enough left to freeze(up to about 3 months) and feed us all again. And, yes, even Baby loves it, cayenne and all!


WanderingGirl said...

Ooooh I'm going to try that... as soon as I can afford groceries again!

Brook said...

Well, not counting the spices, I figure this soup costs about $2.50 per serving, buying all the ingredients and the bread. Which I think is pretty good considering how well this soup freezes. I totally get the grocery thing though. Many a week we have eaten beans and rice or cornbread, it's all good!

Huff Daddy said...

Gonna have to try it too. I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes but the rest of my family LOVES them, so it will be a good points earner.

Brook said...

I imagine you could use butternut squash if you like it instead of the sweet potatoes, as a matter of fact one of Big Daddy D's students gave us like 6 or 7 butternut squash that I need to use up so I might try it here next time.

ginstonic said...

Hey baby girl! I have been away from your blog for about a week - using the laptop which does not have you in the favorites yet. Anyway, just wanted to say hello and I love your name too and I can definitely vouch - you are all that and more. Lovely prose by the way. Also I wll have to try this recipe when I come up next time - put a cup in the frezzer for me. The part I am unsure of is the peanut butter - I don't even like peanut sauce for spring roll dipping. Anyway catch you later. Love, mom

The CEO said...

Sorry to be gone for so long. I you see this comment, go to Tiffany's blog and go to Alithinks. She is an outstanding cook, and spent quite a few years teaching English in France.