Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Fall with Sweet Potato Soup

Gypsy Slow Down

Lately I've been herding all the kids outside to play when my goal during the summer was to do whatever I had to to keep them inside and out of the 100 degree weather (or myself out of the 100 degree weather). To me, fall has always been more like the new year than New Years. After all, New Years is really just a continuation of the winter you already know. But Fall brings changes and I think a greater sense of ambition. Maybe it's the long, hot days of summer, but once Autumn comes I feel a renewed sense of motivation that's usually been missing a while. I think we need Summer for that relaxation but I'm never as sad as I could be to see it go. Among the list of changes I have decided to make this Fall are:

1) to write more stories. This is partly thanks to Witt who encouraged me to enter a story contest on NPR and I did, which was a stretch for me because lately I've been avoiding writing stories like the plague. I'll probably never hear from the story again, but I wrote it and it felt good and now I might, maybe, maybeee have the ambition to keep going.

2) run more. It has felt so good, physically and mentally, to be back running everyday. There's such a sense of accomplishment when you push yourself and all the milestones, like running 7 miles, which my sister Nan and I did this weekend, feels like a big deal. And it's something I do by myself which separates me from Witt. I think it builds respect to support each others goals that the other doesn't share.

3) to regain or renew or maybe start from scratch with a thankful heart. So with this new year I am resigning myself that we are living in the little brick house with the tiny little kitchen and the office building in the front yard and that I. Can. Make. It. until we move on one day. And not just that I can make it, but that it's a good thing. That we have a cute little house, we have grass outside our door instead of concrete and our happiness is when we both are here, not where we both live.

So that was my sharing time. And now I will share something that I made last night that reminded me of Fall. Even though it wasn't really that cold out, it was kind of warm, I can imagine making this soup on a blistery day and serving it with a whole wheat baguette and sitting in front of the fire, if I had a fire place. Right now I am eating it leftover and it's just as good. Witt said it reminded him of pumpkin soup and I think that's because of the sweet potato which does add a nutty, spicy kick. This soup is from the latest Food Network mag and here is my version. I left the peels on the potatoes because that's where the good stuff is and the soup was really creamy.

Gypsy Slow Down

Sweet Potato Broccoli Soup

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
2 large red potatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sharp chedder cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Lay broccoli on a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for about 10 minutes until tops are browned. Set aside. Meanwhile, saute the onions and celery in the remaining olive oil until the onions start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf and potatoes and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until creamy. Return to the pan and add the half and half. If the soup is too thick, thin with a little water. Add the broccoli and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
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