Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Herb Soup (Vegan)

You know what I was thinking about while making sweet potato soup? How many talented people I've seen who have so much anxiety about their work. It's pervasive. I think Bukowski said it best, "The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while stupid people are full of confidence." For the record I think talent and intelligence are very much intertwined, if not one of the same. The term intelligence seems to have been reserved for book smarts, but in order to have any kind of talent you have to problem solve and preserve. Both skills heavily associated with intelligence. Either way, I've found the above quote to be true, and often those stupid people can corner the intelligent people and exaggerate their doubts. Why? I'm not sure, but I've seen it happen time and time again. These often feel like the hurdles we need to climb to get passed our own self-doubt. I've found that if I've put any stock at all into someone's criticism then it's probably because part of me thinks it's true, and it needs to be resolved. So, in that way the idiots we cross paths with are there to wake up our own inner idiots. I read a book recently that outlines this, the fact that we're all in the perfect misery to wake us up from the ways we've gotten in our own way. So, next time someone else's words are spinning though your mind, maybe try resolving them within yourself first, and try finding anywhere where you feel like it's true. Use it as an opportunity to diminish your self-doubt, and not to contribute to it, because there are far too many mediocre lives being lived by talented people. And that is my unsolicited advice for the day. 

Moving on to making soup—sweet potatoes are my favorite thing in the fall. I pretty much like them anyway they're served, roasted, or mashed, pan-fried, put in a smoothie, which ever way, I'm a fan. And while I usually load them up with butter and salt and eat them that way, I've been experimenting more and more with fully plant-based options. I'm learning that it's a lot easier than it once seemed to eat only plants for a whole day or week, and it can be plenty hearty, especially with fall vegetables. That being said, I don't see myself going entirely vegan anytime soon, but I do love experimenting with new things, and can definitely appreciate the health and environmental impacts of consuming less animal products.

This recipe calls for roasted garlic, which I will post a full tutorial on tomorrow, but I'll give the simple instructions today. That up there is my little bundle of roasted garlic. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5-6 medium sized sweet potatoes - cooked and peeled
  • 5 bunches of basil - I believe this is tulsi basil, but I could be wrong
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery 
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of butter - I used Natural Balance
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt - I used himalayan
  • 1/2 of a lemon

For the roasted garlic:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • Parchment paper
  • Twine or tie
  • 2-5 leaves of cilantro and basil

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • To roast the garlic cut a piece of parchment paper and place it on the counter, cut off the top of the garlic, all of the cloves should be slightly exposed. Add in all ingredients. I did the oil and vinegar first to let it absorb, and then add a lot of salt and pepper.
  • Wrap in parchment paper and twine, put in a heat safe dish, and put on a lower rack, make sure no paper or twine is hanging over (it's a fire hazard). Also make sure the top of the paper is not touching any of the other racks. It may be better to remove a few racks.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes. 
  • For the soup: In a large pot add in butter, vegetable broth, potatoes, a couple leaves of basil (definitely not all of it), onion, celery, balsamic, and salt.
  • Cook on medium to low for 45-50 minutes or until all ingredients are very soft. 
  • In a food processor take the olive oil, basil, three cloves of roasted garlic, and cilantro and blend well. 
  • Take the cooked potato broth and all ingredients, and add it into the food processor with the herbs and blend well. I found it was easier to use a measuring cup to scoop it in slowly.
  • Squeeze in lemon juice.
  • Blend or stir once more and serve warm.

P.s. I'll work my darnedest to regrow that basil and post it on here. I haven't grow basil from clippings before, but I have faith.