I’m quite convinced that the old adage is actually true: There’s nothing new under the sun. I remember my complete shock at watching Rachel Ray share a recipe for Chicekn with Sage Pesto from one in my cookbooks, Around Our Table (digital copies still being offered at 30% off!). Now I’m sure she didn’t get it out of my cookbook, but it seemed she’d gotten the same idea I had–lol!

We used to share “tried-and-true” recipes with our friends, but now everyone’s trying to invent new recipes, or revamp old ones. And so today I’m taking the liberty of revamping a recipe I saw on Martha Stewart’s website. The unique combination of flavors intrigued me, though I had to substitute several ingredients not available to me here in Belgium. This let’s me make the recipe “my own” and gives you a few ideas of how to make the recipe work in your part of the world.

We’ve enjoyed this easy-peesy soup several times in the last few weeks, so I hope you’ll squeeze in one more pot of soup before the really hot weather of summer arrives.

Here are the basic ingredients:

IngredientsTEXT

Begin by combining the broth (or water/bouillon cubes), diced onion, minced garlic, and diced sweet potatoes in a medium-sized pan. Most soups start with sauteing the onion and garlic before adding the other ingredients…quick and easy to just skip that and put it all in a pot, plus there’s not even a tablespoon of oil!

SweetPotatoOnion

Cover, bring to a boil, then add the diced chicken…

AddChix

…and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes.

For you vegans out there, I recently made this soup using vegetable broth and 1/2 C. (85 g) of dried, rinsed quinoa instead of the chicken–delish! You may want to thin it with a little more broth unless you prefer it thick and hearty.

While the soup simmered, I processed 1 C. (100 grams) of sliced almonds in my food processor, to replace the 1/2 C. of almond butter which Martha called for…

ProcessAlmonds

I used sliced almonds instead of whole ones because the slices didn’t have skins on them. Almond skins can taste a little bitter and I certainly didn’t want to have to blanch them and remove the skins. After all, I told you this soup was easy!

So, I processed the almonds until they were a very fine powder.

In addition to almond butter–not available to me–Martha’s recipe called for collard greens, which we can’t get here. But any dark, leafy green should do just fine. I’ve usually used frozen spinach (pictured here) but have also made it with fresh, coursely chopped escarole–both were really good.

AddSpinach

One thing I love in Europe is that you can buy cubes of frozen spinach in a 1 kg. bag. Makes it incredibly convenient to be able to thaw one or two cubes–instead of having a block of 10 oz. of frozen spinach, whether you want that much or not! Martha only put in 1 C. of chopped fresh collard greens, which probably cooks down to hardly anything. I added quite a bit more, as you can see. The flavor is mild so adding more nutrition and fiber is good, don’t you think?

Lastly, I added the minced ginger…

AddGinger

…and stirred in the finely ground almonds…and voila! We were ready to eat!

ChickenAlmondSoup2

A squeeze of lime can add a burst of freshness, though there’s certainly enough flavor without it!

Thank you, Martha Stewart, for inspiring me! And now I hope I’ve inspired you to try this soup before the weather gets too hot!

If you live in a part of the world where you can’t get some of these ingredients, just try using what’s available where you live. If you don’t have sweet potatoes, try using butternut squash, pumpkin or even carrots. Want to try it vegan-style? Use quinoa instead of chicken. Don’t have fresh ginger? Try a teaspoon of powdered ginger. Who knows, maybe Rachel Ray will use your recipe some day!

Enjoy! Ciao!

Debbie

Chicken, Almond & Sweet Potato Soup (with a vegan alternative)

Yield: Serves 4

Chicken, Almond & Sweet Potato Soup (with a vegan alternative)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken or vegetable broth (or equivalent water/bouillon)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large or two small skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces or 1/2 C. (85 g) quinoa
  • 1 cup (100 g) smooth almond butter
  • 2 large handfuls dark green leafy vegetables, coarsely chopped or 10 oz. (300 g) frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 lime, optional

Instructions

  1. Combine the broth, onion, garlic, and sweet potato in a medium-sized pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the diced chicken, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the greens and fresh ginger to the soup and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, process the almonds until they are a very finely powder. Stir the finely ground almonds into the soup, bring to a boil, and serve. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime if you'd like.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/soups-stews/chicken-almond-sweet-potato-soup-with-a-vegan-alternative/

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