Spicy Sweet Potato soup with cheddar cheese

I know this is the time of year when I’m supposed to be making decadent batches of cookies, offering Christmas recipes to top the excesses of Thanksgiving. While everywhere you go, the general consciousness and mood about New York is that the month of December is Christmas time, tis also the season for colds and the flu. I noticed recently that I seemed to have gained my holiday weight before the holidays even began, and I’ve had a stubborn cold whose after effects have been lingering for weeks. While I’m all for pigging out to beat seasonal affective disorder and get in the spirit of celebration (which beats no celebration), I also want to feel good. To this end, I’m trying to focus for the next week or so (going into the holiday) on recipes that pair classic holiday flavors with health conscious methods and resourcefulness.

I had a bunch of sweet potatoes on hand, hoping to make a cheesy cheddar and sweet potato pie, and maybe I will pick up that idea again in some form, but given that my sister has the flu and was too sick and weak to go to the store, I decided to whip up a few warming, curative winter soups for her. Garnished with a little bit of cheddar cheese, you still get the flavor combo of the sweet potato pie filling, but with additional veggies and a restorative broth. The mild spiciness of this soup also helps to clear your sinuses.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of ground coriander
  • pinch of curry power
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

Chop onion, celery and carrots. Peel and chop sweet potato into rough chunks. Saute together in a soup or enamel pot with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add spices and continue to cook until browning begins in the bottom of the pot. Add water to cover the veggies and let simmer until thoroughly cooked. Wait till the mixture cools a little, and blend with immersion or standard blender, or leave chunky, depending on your preference. Garnish with a little grated cheddar to serve.

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