In times of struggle, anxiety, illness, there is no better balm than soup. It is literally a healing food. It’s also a comfort. It’s unfussy. It can be made quickly, easily, cheaply. This soup, in particular, lends itself to adaptation. Toss in a little of this. Add a little of that. Which makes it well-suited for these days when you may be reaching a little deeper in your pantry than you typically would. So, pull out that cast-iron Dutch oven (or your favorite soup pot), and get to stirring. It won’t be long until this tasty blend of veggies and spices is warming you — body and soul.
Recipe inspired by Mollie Katzen
Makes 4 meal-sized servings, double it to have leftovers
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne (or to taste)
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, can be fresh or canned
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas (can be canned or dried; if dried, prepare ahead)
- Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, celery and sweet potato. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt and sauté 5 minutes more. Add seasonings and water or broth. Cover and simmer, about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Add tomatoes, pepper and chick peas. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes more, until everything is tender and the flavors have married. Adjust seasonings and serve hot.
All vegetables can be swapped for others. In the photo above, I made this soup with okra instead of celery, carrots instead of sweet potatoes, kale instead of bell pepper and kidney beans instead of chick peas. Eat seasonally. Mine your pantry. Be creative!