Fit-into-Your-Holiday-Party-Outfit Recipe: Nutty Sweet Potato Soup

By: Michelle Buffardi

It's tough to transition in to a "normal" diet on the heels of Thanksgiving, and then to maintain control in December when tempted daily with holiday cookies, hot cocoa, figgy pudding, eggnog, latkes, gingerbread . . . whatever does you in. Don't you wish you could savor rich casseroles and buttery cookies forever without the fear of wearing sweatpants to the office holiday party?

You could hold out for that Christmas miracle, or you could make a big pot of sweet potato soup, which is amazing for the following reasons:

  • It's slightly reminiscent of indulgent Thanksgiving sweet potato dishes, but has only 290 calories per (1 1/2 cup) serving.
  • It's even better on the second or third day, so you can make a batch on a free night, and heat up the leftovers after a night of rigorous holiday shopping, caroling or snowman-building.
  • It also freezes well; ladle into single serving-sized freezer bags for lunch or dinner on busy days.
  • The whole recipe costs less than $10 to make -- think of all the gifts you can buy with the money you're saving!

Serves: 6 servings, serving size 1 1/2 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices
2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens (about 3 scallions)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and carrots and cook, stirring until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the sweet potato, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

*Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or in a regular blender in 2 batches and return the soup to the pot. Add the peanut butter and honey and stir, over low heat, until the peanut butter melts. Serve warm, garnished with the scallions.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Calories 290; Total Fat 18g (Sat Fat 3.5g, Mono Fat 9g, Poly Fat 5g); Protein 14g; Carb 23g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 260mg

More healthy winter recipes that will more than justify your cookie sampling:

Ellie Krieger's Chicken Parmesan
Ellie Krieger's Three Bean and Beef Chili
Ellie Krieger's Saucy Salmon
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