Sweet Potato & Coriander Soup

10 May

So remember that time I told you I like to work out bright and early, first thing in the morning?  No?  Me neither.  I would never say that, that’s ridiculous!

 

For me, morning comes no earlier than 9am, which as far as I’m concerned, is still more or less the crack of dawn, and really only happens when the beckon-call of my bird chirping iphone text feature tweets me out of my slumber.  Ok, I know I make it sound dramatic, but I actually secretly (or not so secretly anymore) LOVE that! =)  What’s that, you say?  My alarm?  Worthless.  Most mornings when I finally peel my eyes open to the world I can’t remember ever having HEARD my alarm go off- sad, no?!  MORE COFFEE, PLEASE! 😀

 

Anyway, all of this leads to what you’ve probably already guessed: I’m not a morning gym goer.  The good thing is, though, that I’ve also never had the desire to be the type of person who hops out of bed in the morning right into gym clothes ready to buzz out the door for a run or a 6am body pump class.  Don’t get me wrong, if you are this type, more power to you!  I believe we all have our own slightly different circadian rhythms guiding our ideal move-your-booty, get up and pump some iron time!  For me, it’s always been evening time, preferably, and the later in the evening, the better.

 

I’m not exaaaactly sure why, but I believe it has to do with, one, my body actually being awake and functional, and two, not having to deal with such a crowded gym!  Ok ok, there are three points, and I think this is the most important – I like to know I’ve gotten everything done during the day that I need to, and I can finally get out of my head and break a sweat without feeling like I have a schedule to keep or something to get back to.  If I’m feeling particularly energetic and spunky one evening at the gym, I can draw it out a little longer and take advantage of the unexpected surge; likewise, if I’m feeling a lighter, shorter workout one night, I can go home and unplug and chill that much longer!

 

The real point here is that I made a journey to the gym a little earlier than usual yesterday evening, and the place was PACKED!  Holy moly.  As it turns out, my body’s ideal (night owl?) time to bust a move is apparently far from everyone elses’ and I couldn’t be happier!…Either that, or they’re just all out on the town while I’m dead lifting my butt off (literally) 😉 haha!  I’m ok with that, too!

 

While I’m on the subject of the gym and being healthy and everything, I’ve got the perfect soup recipe for you!  Vegetarian, gluten free, ….vegan?  Ya, vegan, probably, too,  if you’re so inclined!

Sweet Potato & Coriander Soup

If you like sweet potatoes and guilt-free creamy, comforting soup, this is the one- it’s my new favorite soup!  If you hadn’t noticed, I have a bit of an obsession with both sweet potatoes and coconut, so this is basically the best of both of my favorite worlds!  If you aren’t worried about the vegetarian and vegan aspect, you can go ahead and use chicken broth, and if you want something even creamier and more decadent, go crazy with full-fat coconut milk!  Top with a sprinkle of hemp seeds!

Ingredients:

* 3 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 small onions (I used 1 red, 1 white), peeled and chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 5 large carrots, sliced
* 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, cubed
* 4 ribs of celery, sliced
* 8 cups vegetable (make sure it’s gf/vegan) or chicken broth (make sure it’s gf, if you need)
* 5 tsp ground coriander
* 1 can (13.66 oz.) lite coconut milk
* 1 small can northern beans or chickpeas
* 5 leaves of kale, torn and stems removed
* Dash of salt, to taste
* Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes (stirring often) until lightly browned.

Add carrots, celery, sweet potato, and vegetable (or chicken) broth to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 50 minutes to an hour (until veggies are smash-tender).

Use a potato masher to mash up vegetables into whatever texture you like (or pour small batches into a blender and blend smooth before returning to the pan).

Stir in coriander, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and northern beans, and cook about 5 more minutes to heat through. Add kale pieces and cook another couple minutes until the leaves have softened.

Another one of my favorite foods right now – KALE!  Spinach had to take a step to the side once I hopped on the kale train, but don’t worry, spinach still holds a special place in my heart (and plate!)  Just turns out kale is what I had on hand when I made this, and it worked perfectly!

I have to confess something here.  The sweet potatoes in the photo above aren’t the actual sweet potatoes I threw in this soup – oopsie!  The ones I used were slightly smaller and BRIGHT gorgeous orange inside!  I just didn’t happen to snap a pic in all the madness.  Next time!

 

Once you’ve simmered your veggies for a good 50 minutes to an hour, mash ’em up rough-like with a potato masher!  If you prefer really smooth creamy soups, you can even pour it into a blender at this point and blend it up smooth before putting it back in your pot and finishing it up.

Coconut milk!  Low fat version, since bikini season is right around the corner =) …but like I said, feel free to really let loose with the full fat stuff if you’re feelin’ it!  No judgements here.

Good to the last drop…or whatever they say about coffee.

 

I’ve made this soup recipe going on 4 times in the last 2 months – it’s THAT good!  The first couple times I made it, I threw in chickpeas!  Love those little guys, and they worked beautifully, too!  Northern beans (below) get my stamp of approval, for sure!

Ahem, kale…need I say more??  Load that fluffy green stuff in!  The more the better…

Ta da!  Major yum.  I can eat this soup for several meals in a row.  Fact.

There is a lot of talk and opinion (some scientifically based, some not) going around about the best time of day to work out.  Early, late, mid-day, etc. etc…and maybe I’d buy in to it all a little more if we were all cookie cutter bodies with the same demands, time constraints, and expectations.  But we’re not.  I know, shocking, ha!

Where was I going with all this?  Oh right.  Not to discount science AT ALL, but in my humble opinion, the best time to work out is when you’ll actually do it!  Some exercise will always be better than no exercise, of course!  So get out there and sweat it up, whenever!

…Then follow up with this yummy post-workout recovery soup, and chirp tweet me in the morning! 😉

XOXO

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2 Responses to “Sweet Potato & Coriander Soup”

  1. Susan (OliePants) May 16, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I love kale in soup! This looks so hearty and comforting. Beautiful.

  2. Jen August 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    This sounds and looks so delicious. I can’t wait to make it when it cools down some. I’m so glad I found your blog. I added you to my google reader. 🙂

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