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Sweet Potato, Kale and Beef Soup

It is flippin’ cold here.  I know, I’m technically not allowed to complain because I live in the coastal California region so according to East Coasters I don’t really understand cold BUT, it was 35 degrees last night.  That is some legit cold action.  Many blankets and a space heater were liberally employed to warm my ass up.  And of course the final touch of cozying up the house is always making a big pot of something.  Beans, braises, stews whatever.  As long as there is a pot bubbling on my stovetop, I’m happy.

As I mentioned last week, the holidays sucked me dry so while I wanted to cuddle and cook, I also wanted nothing more than to hop in the bath and have someone else take care of dinner.  I wanted my own food without having to work too hard for it.  Braises warm the body and soul like nothing else AND that comfy goodness comes at a cost.  You’ve got to bring the meat to temperature, sear it, sauté the vegetables, deglaze the pan…You get the picture.  On a Sunday afternoon I can turn braising into a meditative process and am totally down however on a Tuesday night when I just want dinner to be made already, I need something quick that only feels like it took all day to make.

Enter my sweet potato, kale and beef soup.

I dig this recipe for so many reasons.   It’s fast, nourishing (perfect for anyone who has come down that nasty cold going around) and most importantly, damn tasty. I made it for my friend Sarah recently and by the end of lunch we were strategically negotiating for the final bowl.  In the past I’ve made meatballs and added them to the soup.  Now I prefer to simply browning the meat with the meatball spices to save time.  Lovely compromise.

This recipe is also part of my Freakin’ Rad Fall Cleanse and is the most raved about dish from the program.

Here’s a little window into my eating.  When I make this soup, it goes down morning, noon and night. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for eggs, yogurt, fruit, quinoa flakes or salad (yes, I eat salad for breakfast).  When it’s a cold morning and I want something savory with a touch of sweetness, this soup is my jam.  Straight up.

Don’t worry about breakfast though.  That’s tomorrow.  For now make this for dinner, light a candle and snuggle up with a juicy book.  Best Tuesday night ever. 

Want to make someone else’s night?  Pass on the recipe and tell me below, what is your  favorite dish to make when it’s cold outside. 

Sweet Potato, Kale and Beef Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

2 large sweet potatoes, or several small ones, peeled and diced

1 large white potato, diced (optional)

6 cups water or chicken stock

1 lb. kale, washed, dried, and chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

 Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, a touch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and a bit browned. Add the sweet potatoes, white potato and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in the pot to thicken the soup.  Add the chopped kale and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the kale is tender.

In a saute pan over medium heat, brown the meat with coriander, cumin and a touch of salt.

Add the meat to the soup and simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parsley.   Enjoy!

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