I have been trying to eat healthy for a few weeks now. One of the things is cutting carbs out of my dinner.
Can someone please explain to me these cravings for over-the-top carb-y and fatty foods our bodies have at night? Like Pasta doused in white sauce, or french fries, or pizza? I don’t understand how I can start wanting something so unhealthy as soon as I come home. I need to get rid of that, seriously. Maybe train my taste buds to NOT like it.
My fat-wanting inner voice just said to me: Yeah, that isn’t going to happen, girl.
I might be getting ahead of myself here.
But I am trying. I know that I will have no control over my diet when I leave home to go back to college in July. That’s why, I am doing what I can while at home.
A few nights ago, after I came home after a happy, but tiring shopping trip, there were the usual cravings some comfort food. Warm and hearty. Fatty and Potato-ey. I used to make this ridiculously indulgent Potato Soup when I was living in Mumbai. Potato, cream and cheese. All my enemies currently.
Am I turning into one of those people who say something like “I can’t remember the last time I had potatoes!”? Maybe.
I turned to the underrated cousin of my frenemy Potato, the Sweet Potato. Underrated is the right word, because this root vegetable is versatile, healthy AND yummy! I can just throw it into a salad, make some stew or muffins, maybe a nice frittata or just have it boiled without feeling guilty. Or soup. THIS soup.
It’s what I decided to make and it fulfilled my craving. Every bit of it.
This becomes a meal in itself by being so filling. Some soups turn out to be so boring, just one flavor, nothing else. This soup has a mesh of subtle flavors. Sweet, spicy, tangy. It is also so easy to make. Throw in cubes vegetables with some water or stock, soften and puree. One pot meal! The answers to the working professional’s prayers. The soup is smooth and velvety but if you do like yours to be a little chunky, you can reserve part of your boiled veggies before blending.
Let’s all just put this in our weekly dinner rotation.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil/olive oil
- 2 medium onions, cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, grated/minced
- 2 medium carrots, cubed
- 4 small sweet potatoes, cubed (or 2 large)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper/red chilli powder
- Salt, as per Taste
Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onions. Cook till onions are slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook till it's fragrant. Don't let the garlic burn or brown! Add the carrots and sweet potato. Give it a stir so that everything is coated with oil and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the black pepper and red chili powder (You may reduce or increase the spices as per your taste. I don't like my soup too spicy, but this amount of spice perfectly balanced out the sweetness in the sweet potato). Add salt as per taste.
- Add the vegetable or chicken stock, stir well and turn up the heat. Bring it to a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat to keep at a simmer. Let it simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes. You may need to check on the soup in between and add more stock or some water if you feel it's getting less liquid-y.
- When the sweet potato and carrots are softened, puree the soup with an immersion blender or put it in a blender (An immersion blender is so much easier, less dishes to wash!). Put it back on the heat and simmer for about 2-3 minutes more, adding stock or water, if you feel like, according to the consistency you like. I like my soup a little thick.
- Serve topped with any dried herbs or if you are feeling a little indulgent, some cream.