Friday, November 02, 2007

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup



The heart of the matter is this: I'm losing at this new lifestyle game. I did so well for several months, but then came vacation and my birthday and weddings, and now I'm back up several of the pounds that I lost, which is completely unacceptable. And I'll be honest right away: I'm not completely happy with my body, but I'm a happy person overall (if not a bit stressed and overemotional at times), so I'm not doing this to fit into that pair of jeans glaring at me over there in the corner. I just don't feel well all the time, and I want to feel better, and I know that shedding a few pounds is the easiest way to do that.

What better time to change my eating habits than right now? The holidays are creeping up (holy crap it's almost Thanksgiving and I've bought not one single Christmas gift), and it will be even harder to avoid the goodies at work and, not to mention, in my own kitchen! Brad's on board with me - his age and his belly are catching up with him, too - so here we go.

We got started with this awesome Creamy Sweet Potato Soup. We all know how good sweet potatoes are for us, and I know few people who shun them because of their taste, so this is really an easy meal to please everybody - and it could be a great course at Thanksgiving, too! I got it from a very popular lifestyle Web site, ahem, but it's a keeper. I've often found that low-cal foods are just completely devoid of ... flavor. Unacceptable! Food has to taste good if you're supposed to want to eat it, right? So I highly recommend this if you're trying to eat well, but eat good-tasting foods, too!

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
W*W P*oints Value 4, at 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups fat-free chicken broth, divided use
1 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
Dash of curry power for extra flavor (optional, but highly recommended!)
1 Tbsp chopped pecans (for garnish, which I left off)

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 400* F.
2) Pierce potatoes in several places with a fork. Bake 45 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool, remove and discard skin; coarsely chop potatoes. (I see no reason you can't cook these in the microwave, or make them ahead.)
3) Combine sweet potatoes and 3/4 cup of broth in a blender or food processor; blend or process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
4) Melt margarine in medium-size saucepan; stir in flour and ginger (and curry if you're using it), and then add milk. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Cook 1 minute more and then stir in sweet-potato mixture and remaining 1 1/4 cups broth. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes more.
5) Pour into 4 serving bowls and sprinkle each with 3/4 tsp of pecans each. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

This Creamy Sweet Potato Soup is my submission to Eating for Life: Heart of the Matter 9, hosted this month by Michelle at The Accidental Scientist. Because seriously, is there a more Thanksgivingy food than sweet potatoes? Oh, yeah. Turkey. But sweet potatoes sure do go well with turkey! Right?