After I get over the initial shock that summer is over, I settle into my fall attitude. I actually become pretty pleased that I don't feel the pressure to get outside. Once it starts to get really chilly, I hunker down and nest. I even enjoy the rain (which we've had a lot of lately) since it's a reason to eat lots of comfort foods. However, I usually have to remind myself of all the meals I put on the back burner during summer. You know the ones: hearty chilis, filling lasagnas and crusty pot pies. I almost forget what we ate the other 9 months of the year. DId I used to make anything other than strawberry and watermelon salad? What were my easy dinners? And then the realization hits me like a ton of bricks: Soup! It's one pot. I can throw anything into them and my family doesn't feel at all cheated when they get a heaping bowl of goodness alongside a grilled cheese. Unlike the nights they get scrambled eggs. (I mean, gosh, what's wrong with eggs people? Do you have to give me that look? It's Friday and I'm tired.) However, there really is nothing better than a warm soup and gooey grilled cheese sandwich?
When I found this soup from Whole Foods, I couldn't wait to try it. It called for just a handful of ingredients and featured one of my favorite fall flavors: sweet potato. I also knew that sweet potato would be an easy sell to Scarlett. For some reason, I get resistance for certain soups. Maybe one day she'll explain why she eats chicken noodle with abandon but has to lay on the floor in protest to chicken and rice soup. Is rice that offensive? But if a grilled cheese shares the placemat with the previously offensive rice soup, she's on board for that one. Aaah, the power of grilled cheese.
Sweet Potato and Yellow Split Pea Soup
8 1/2 cups water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cup dried yellow split peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
Place a large sauce pan over medium heat and fill with 1/2 cup water and onion, allow to cook until onions are translucent. Add ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Add remaining 8 cups of water, sweet potato and peas to pot and bring to a boil. After a few minutes, drop the tempature and cover soup. Allow to simmer for 1 hour.
Allow to soup to simmer last 10 minutes uncovered. Working in batches, put soup in a food processor and puree. Garnish with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
This recipe made so much soup I threw half of it in the freezer. You can easily serve a family of four for two night with this recipe. It's also a pretty thick soup so it's nice and hearty.
When I served it to Scarlett I asked her if she wanted anything else. "Do you have enough to eat?," I asked. She looked up from her nearly empty bowl and said, "I guess I could have some dessert." I'll take that to mean she's full and satisfied.