Friday, December 12, 2008
Another yearly tradition once fall/winter hits (and honestly, it's still fall in Los Angeles) is me + warm, tasty gypsy soup. This recipe is one I've been using for years, originally taken from AllRecipes when I was just beginning to really get into cooking. Not only is it full of fall bounty (sweet potatoes, onions, oh my!) but it's got spices very similar to morrocan and persian cooking. Both of which I love and grew up with.
My favourite part of this soup is the spices and the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of those foods that gets a lot of bad rap because everyone eats them glazed with brown sugar and marshmallows. I like taking sweet potatoes and turning them slightly savory-- their sweetness always cut through, but they're sweet enough on their own. That's why I love sweet potato fries, too.
This recipe and my marbled potatoes are favourites for sweet potatoes. And I like sweet potatoes, too, because of all their iron, they're higher in vitamins and minerals than regular potatoes, and the flavor they posess is a little more umph. Garbanzo beans, too, aren't a food most people crave... even though it's the main make up of hummus. These beans are high in protein, so while this soup may not have any meat, it's a healthy lean alternative.
Usually I serve it with some type of crusty bread (often from Whole Foods or Wild Oats or the like), but this time we ate the leftover Corn Bread sitting in the back of my fridge from Thanksgiving. And boy, those flavours were SUPER good together!!
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cubed sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 teaspoons paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 chopped basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tamari
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped tomato
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the potato, celery, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is starting to clear and add the spices. Cook for one minute, stirring to coat evenly. Pour in the chicken stock and tamari and bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato, green bell pepper, and garbanzo beans. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, then spice to taste. Serve in generous portions with crusty bread or (dreamy sigh) corn bread.