June 22, 2011 by Dana
Ok, kids. Today we’re going to talk about seasonal eating. (You like how I put that? We? It makes it seem more inclusive… not like I’m going to be rambling on by myself while you sit there wondering what in the world I’m talking about.)
Right. So, seasonal eating. I’m not talking about it in the traditional sense. Like eating tomatoes in the summer and apples in the fall, or anything like that. What I’m talking about is soup. That’s right, good old s-o-u-p.
You see, I’ve heard some people say that soup is just for the cold winter months. Something you eat to warm up. For comfort. When you don’t mind eating something that sticks to your bones. When you don’t plan on wearing a bikini that weekend.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s just not so.
In my book, soup is for every season. I love it. In fact, I have such deep feelings about soup, that when I was younger, I declared that I was going to open a restaurant called “Just Soup.” And all I would sell was… soup. (Yes, even in my younger years I was oh-so-clever.)
Despite the fact that these dreams (shockingly) never came to fruition, I still feel it’s my duty to enlighten the masses. To teach you that soup is an all-weather, all-season option.
So today, get those visions of heavy corn chowder and tomato bisque out of your head. And instead, picture this light, yet still creamy and filling, Grilled Sweet Potato Chicken Soup (adapted from Sweet Bytes Blog). Because really, there’s nothing more summery than lighting up that grill. Even if it’s just to make a big pot of soup.
2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 red onion
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ground
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fat free half and half
juice of 1 lime
zest from 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped sun-dried tomatoes, for garnish
If you are deprived like me and don’t have regular access to a real grill, then using your indoor grill (like a George Forman) or panini maker works just as well. And if you don’t have one of those, you can just sauté the sweet potato and onion, and bake or poach the chicken breast.
1. Slice the sweet potatoes and onion into ½ inch rounds.
2. Over medium-high heat, grill the sweet potatoes and onion, about 6 minutes per side.
3. At the same time, grill the chicken breast until it’s no longer pink in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, allspice and cayenne pepper and sauté until spices are fragrant. Add the broth, grilled sweet potatoes, and grilled onion. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces.
6. Using an immersion blender, or by transferring to a traditional blender in batches (be very careful and let cool if necessary), blend the broth until it is smooth.
7. Return soup to the pot. Add the chicken, half and half, lime juice, lime zest, and parsley. Simmer for 10 more minutes, until flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve garnished with parsley and sun-dried tomatoes.
Please. Go make this and stop pegging soup into a one-season hole. I promise you will love it. I know I did.