How was your week? Full of Valentine's Day love, I hope! Are you feeling like you ate too much chocolate and now need a healthful and nourishing recipe to get yourself feeling grounded again? If you're like me, you enjoyed some indulgent sweets from your love...but all that chocolate doesn't feel well in my body after awhile. I begin to crave real food, usually savory food to balance the sweetness of the decadent chocolate.
This past weekend, I taught a sold out chocolate making class at Common Market Co-op in Frederick, MD. It was a great afternoon, where the participants learned how to make their own homemade chocolates for their Valentines; delicious confections were created, then boxed-up and taken home to give as sweet treats. It's always a gift to me to teach these wonderful classes, they fill me with so much energy and inspiration!
Just before the class began, I was given a very generous gift by one of the students - a big bag full of gnarly home-grown sweet potatoes from her garden! I'd never seen such large sweet potatoes - these were not ones that you'd find at the store or even at the farmer's market. I knew that I wanted to experiment with them, to make a delicious soup. Luckily, I had just the right idea in mind! A few months ago, I tasted an amazing sweet potato soup at Naked Lunch, the cafe inside of Mom's Organic Market (in Hampden). The flavors were simple, the texture was smooth, and I knew that I could easily recreate this bowl of soup in my own kitchen. And with this huge bag of sweet potatoes to play with, that's exactly what I did! This Sweet Potato-Ginger-Miso Soup is currently the recipe of my dreams - it comes together simply with just a few ingredients, yet it tastes like a true masterpiece (in my opinion)!
Most likely, you'll have the ingredients for this soup on-hand. Are you wondering about the miso? Do you already eat miso? If not, why should you make miso a part of your recipes? Miso is made from fermented beans, most often from soybeans, and is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine (surely you've had a bowl of miso soup before eating some sushi?). Miso is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and protein - it actually contains all of the essential amino acids. In traditional Japanese culture, miso is regularly used for relieving fatigue, regulating digestive and intestinal functions, protecting against gastric ulcers, decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, preventing inflammation, and lowering risk for diseases such as cancers and heart disease. As a fermented food, miso is full of live probiotic cultures, the "good bacteria" that we need in our GI tract. Probiotics have so many functions - at this time of the year, the fact that they boost immunity (and thus ward-off illness) is key.
I hope you try my Sweet Potato-Ginger-Miso Soup and love it as much as I do! If you make it, take a photo and send it to me, and make sure to tag me on social media, too (@withhealthandgratitude). The greatest complement is when someone else makes my recipes and enjoys nourishing themselves with my creations.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Sweet Potato-Ginger-Miso Soup
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
2 T sunflower seed oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
6 cups water
2 T mellow white miso paste
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
optional topping: fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté until softened, approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent onion from burning. Add ginger and continue to sauté for an additional minute.
Add sweet potatoes and water, bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft and tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove lid and allow to cool slightly.
In batches, purée soup in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Return soup to the pot and stir in miso paste. Gently warm the soup to blend the miso into the purée, but do not let the soup boil!
Taste for seasoning, adding sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Serve, topped with chopped fresh herbs.
recipe yields 4-5 generous bowls of soup
double recipe for more servings
leftovers keep well, chilled in a covered container, for 3 days; freeze for longer storage
use an immersion blender, if a high-speed blender is not available