Sweet potatoes are the best thing ever for you. Even if you get swine flu. Though if you get swine flu, call me, because I’d like to lick your door knobs.

I woke up this morning and was dying (again). Rheumatoid arthritis is a pain and I go through a lot of Kleenex and am all kinds of sexy. Fingers crossed for swine flu, though, which I actually want because I’m pretty sure I could lose, like, twelve pounds just throwing up, not to mention all the wasting away. Very convenient, much easier than fitness.

So I decided to spend the evening in pajamas watching the best movie ever and eating soup in an attempt to be fully recovered by the weekend, which is supposed to be hot and sunny, which means I won’t feel like soup at all, and you should embrace desire when it strikes you. So soup today, and then fish and chips and hefeweizen on a patio on the weekend. Oh, I’ve got dreams.

I’ve decided to share my feel-better recipe for sweet potato soup, because there’s a reasonable chance that other people are feeling battered by this weather, and because maybe you’ll make the soup and with any luck it will be the last time you’ll need hot soup until November.

This recipe makes about four bowls. Enough for tonight and lunch tomorrow anyway, even if my math is wrong.

Sweet Potato Soup

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped (about three cups’ worth)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek (or more, to taste. No sambal oelek? Use hot sauce.)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot with a bit of oil, heat your onions, garlic, and ginger until golden. Add in your carrot and sweet potato, and toss until coated in all that garlic/ginger goodness. Pour in your liquids, zest and juice your lime into the pot, and throw in the sambal oelek so that it can eke it’s spicy glory all over the place.

Fan out the base of your stalk of lemongrass, and let it sit in the pot. I find that too much lemongrass makes stuff taste like dying, but doing it this way lets you get just a whiff and a taste of it, which is all you really need.

Soup!

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Simmer this all together until the sweet potatoes and carrots are tender, about ten minutes. Maybe less. You should probably test for yourself.

Once everything is tender and smells good, you’re going to want to purée this. Part of feeling better quickly is not expending extra energy on chewing. Also, smooth soups taste better, because all the tastes get jumbled together. Glorious!

I serve mine with a poached egg in the centre, which you may recall is how I served the pea soup, but don’t worry – there isn’t a poached egg in every soup we eat around here. I like it for the richness the yolk gives, and the extra bit of protein. And also, I like eggs. We buy them by the 30-pack. For the two of us.

soup in bowls, with eggsAnd you know, I do feel better. Sweet potatoes, ginger, and the spicy hot sambal are all terrific when you feel the weight of a thousand pounds of symptoms rattling around in your chest.

Tomorrow is my Friday, so I’d best be getting to bed so I can rest up and endure it – after that, it’ll be all feasting and frivolity and feeling fantastic. Also tomorrow, I’ll sign up for bootcamp. I really think some violent influenza would be easier to stomach.

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