Happy Monday! I hope your week is getting off to a productive start. It’s been awfully cold around these parts lately. Dinners have been all about soup in my house. Not only is soup easy to make and a one-pot-dish, it’s comforting and warming which is all you need on a cold night. The sun starts setting around 3:30 and is down completely by 5 which is crazy but I love it. I’m still adjusting to the early nights and trying not to go to bed by 8PM but I’m all for the arrival of winter. It’s the season of bundling up, fires in the fireplace, hot cocoa, Christmas music, and comfort food. You can add this recipe for Sweet Potato Soup to your collection of cozy cold weather soups too! It’s a good for you but still stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup.
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Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite root veggies and they are packed with good-for-you nutrients. They’re also incredibly versatile which is nice in the cold weather months while produce is limited. While this recipe uses butter and chicken stock, it’s completely possible for this to be vegetarian and even vegan. In place of butter, use vegan butter or substitute an extra two tablespoons of olive oil. As for the chicken stock, use vegetable instead. These are two easy swaps that can turn this recipe into something you can serve to everyone. It’s also quite tasty. I know Sweet Potato Soup doesn’t sound particularly enticing but the thickness of this soup is filling and the flavors are warm and satisfying. Serve with a side of warm, crusty bread or a half sandwich and you’ve got yourself a delightful meal.
Let’s talk daylight savings for a second. It’s been a week since the hours shifted but I swear adjusting to darker days is harder than overcoming jet lag. I wish I could say that I’m ready to go in the mornings with my early turn-ins but mornings have never been my strong suit. It’s especially hard when it’s cold and you’re nice and toasty in bed...not to mention the puppy snuggles if your dog jumps in bed. It can be hard to find the motivation to get up and get going. Honestly, if I didn’t have warm chunky sweaters and hoodies to immediately get dressed in, I probably would never get out of bed. Or at least I wouldn’t until my bladder started screaming. I just got a Fabletics order in last week and I’ve been living in the Lotta Cocoon Hoodie which is the comfiest, best hoodie I’ve ever owned in my entire life. It’s also already full of dog hair thanks to Scooby Doo. If you are looking for comfortable work-from-home activewear that lets you feel like you’ve gotten dressed without doing the whole jeans thing, check out Fabletics. I’ve gotten plenty of “work clothes” from them that fit a work-from-home lifestyle. When you sign up, you get two pairs of leggings for $24. Not too bad if you ask me! The majority of my chunky sweaters are from StitchFix because they just get my comfy, coffee shop vibe type of style. The point is...it’s the season of comfy clothes and I’ve been stocking up.
Let’s talk about that motivation though. No one understands what it feels like to completely hate mornings as much as I do. Believe me, I don’t go through a simple case of the Mondays. Getting out of bed before 9am is an Olympic feat regardless of the day of the week. The biggest thing I have found to rolling out of bed with the alarm clock is a damn good reason. I hear quite often, “you work from home, don’t you just sleep in?” Let’s clarify something really quick...working from home does not mean you get to sleep in, work as you please and spend the day at your leisure. It means having a regimented schedule so that you actually get things done instead of doing a load of laundry in between re-runs of whatever early 2000s show has replays on. While the ultimate goal is to be at the gym by 5:30AM, home and at my desk by 6:30AM...I’m currently on the schedule of at the desk by 7:30AM. You see, not only do I have my “day job” but I also have this little thing called a blog plus a consulting business I’m currently trying to launch by 2019. Deadlines aren’t made by sleeping in until 9 or 10 AM every day.
So what is it that motivates me to get out of bed when I’d rather hole up? A damn good reason as I said a bit earlier. I plan the work that I enjoy the most for the mornings. That usually consists of writing or some kind of organizational planning. I’m a nerd and LOVE to organize so if I need to brainstorm something, I’ll leave that up to first thing in the morning. Writing comes to me either bright and early or later at night before bed. So if there’s a lot I need to catch up on, I’ll write the entire morning. You could have the best routine in the world but if you’re not looking forward to what you have on your list first thing when you wake up, getting out of bed is going to continue to be the world’s biggest chore. And while I will never particularly enjoy waking up in the mornings, at least I won’t hate it with every fiber in my body. So conquer those darker days this winter with a reason to wake up every morning. If you don’t have a million different businesses you’re juggling, use that time to embrace a hobby. As much as I love the idea of hibernating through winter, it’s not happening. Who’s with me??
Sweet Potato Soup
2 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Shallots, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
4 cups Sweet Potato (about 2 large), peeled and diced
3 cups Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
1 - Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook until the shallots are translucent and the vegetables are softened. Season with salt and pepper.
2 - Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Pour in the chicken stock until it covers the sweet potatoes. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat
3 - CAREFULLY, use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) to puree the soup mixture. Pour the soup into bowls and serve hot.
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main dish