It's been five weeks since I sprained my ankle and I'm finally back in fighting form. I'm driving again - sweet freedom! First stop? Whole Foods...yes, I know, you're shocked. Hubby and I brought home a major haul yesterday. Honestly, I may have gone a little overboard. So much that I actually wrote a list of every perishable item and taped it to the fridge. I'll let you know if this little reminder actually works.
Oh! On my way home, we drove past a Penzeys Spice store (how could I have missed that?!) and made a mental note to pay a visit this week. Hey, if you use Penzeys spices and have a favorite, please leave me a comment about it.
So, back to the hand blender. I've had a few people ask me which brand I purchased. It's a Kitchen Aid immersion blender. And I love it. This morning I was trying out smoothie recipes and put strawberries, blueberries, one banana, nonfat plain yogurt, a squeeze of honey and crushed ice into a plastic pitcher. Five minutes later, the hand blender did it's job and there was virtually no mess. Anyone who has spent an hour scrubbing out a conventional blender will tell you that the immersion blender is a great investment.
Tonight for dinner, I used it again to make Sweet Potato Soup. This recipe comes from a book called, "The Superfoods RX Diet" by Wendy Bazilian and Steven Pratt.
1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot stick, peeled & sliced
1 t fresh grated ginger
1/2 t ground cumin
4 cups water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
toasted pumpkin seeds & diced apple
In a stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to slighly brown. Add the ginger, cumin, water and sweet potatoes. Stir well and cover the pot. Allow the soup to cook 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add the lemon juice. Use the immersion blender to puree the soup. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and diced apples. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you enjoy a little heat!
- This was tasty, but if I'm being honest, it paled it comparison to the parsnip-pear soup. I think this soup might benefit by replacing the water with chicken or vegetable broth. Also, what happened to the salt and pepper? A little seasoning in the beginning would have helped.
- Don't skip the step of adding toasted pumpkin seeds and diced apples. The apples weren't part of the original recipe, but it seems like a natural pairing to me. The flavor was enhanced greatly with these two items.
- Also, the celery is a lot stronger in this soup than I expected. Next time, I will replace one celery stalk with a carrot.
- I'm getting the hang of the immersion blender! I found this to be a very easy dish to make and is almost completely hands off once you chop the vegetables. Chop & Blend. That's it.