Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup {spend a day with the nerds}

poblano soup

If you made a New Year Resolution this year {there’s a 55% chance you did} there’s a 1-in-3 chance that your resolve didn’t last past January. Often, that’s because the goals aren’t clear or measurable, or there’s no strategy for getting there. I have something that might help – even at the risk of you thinking me “nerdy.”  {I’ll get to the Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup in a sec’.}

It started several years ago when then-boyfriend-now-Husband and I lived in Canada.  Things were grim. Work was a challenge, and money was tight.  And ours is a second marriage for both of us… we were committed to “getting it right” this time.

We decided to be intentional about our lives together, and set some long term goals…  What began as a simple conversation about the future turned in to a full-blown planning session, complete with flip charts! {No, seriously – he called the front desk at the hotel where we were staying, and asked them to send up a flip chart! I TOLD you it was nerdy.}

We both have a strategy background, so these New Year’s Resolution sessions evolved into annual “white board sessions.”  While it may sound odd, think about it – we do it in business… why wouldn’t we give as much effort to planning the other parts of our lives?

These days, the day typically starts on New Year’s morning, over {a lot of} coffee and one of our Cinnamon Twist Coffee Cakes, stashed away for this occasion. It can last awhile – especially if we need to pull together financial updates or other info, so it’s not uncommon to end with lunch.

Anyway, I’ve shared with some friends and colleagues the way we approach planning, and a few have started doing it too.

Here’s how it goes {here’s a template if you want to follow along}:

We’ve categorized our lives into 6 “buckets”… the “Six F’s” we call them. {Who doesn’t love a little alliteration?!} The categories are Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Finances & Function {“Function” is “work” – I needed another “F”}.

We do this as a way to ensure balance – too often I think we focus so heavily on a single issue or goal that we don’t pay attention to other important stuff.  And since our faith is a big part of our lives, we felt it important to get some Biblical guidance for each “bucket.” So there’s a scripture attached to each. There’s also an over-arching one we use to remind us that while it’s great to be deliberate and intentional, we are not in control…

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. {Proverbs 16:9}

A few years ago, we set some long term goals that are now not so far away. So the first thing we do is look at last year’s plan and rate how we did, and gauge our progress toward some of those bigger goals. {Truth be told, last year, many, if not most, of my “buckets” sprung leaks, so I was glad to sit down and make some adjustments.}

Next, we make individual and joint goals for the coming year. They’re written down {on this chart} and kept where we can see them.

Then I’m hungry again – and it’s time to make lunch!

This year’s lunch was this delicious and vitamin-packed Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup, perfect for a healthy approach to eating. {I wonder if it’s symbolic in some way that we start off with coffee cake, and wrap up with something healthy…}

This soup is a great kick-start to a healthier focus. If you think eating healthy is boring, this is the dish that’ll change your mind. It’s packed with great veggies and spices that are super healthy, and you can tweak the flavor to get as much “kick” as you want. And “kick” is good – spicy foods increase metabolism.

In the picture at the top of the post, you’ll see I added some rotisserie chicken, and garnished with kale chips… I just happened to have both on hand. You could garnish with baked sweet potato chips as well.

I’ve also served this soup {sans chicken} at room temperature, in shot glasses, as a tasty appetizer for a Mexican-themed meal.

sweet potato poblano soup

Use the veggies in the original recipe, or substitute your faves…

sweet potato poblano soup spices

Spice it up – for flavor, and accelerated metabolism!

sweet potato poblano soup

I took the original recipe a step further and blended it after adding the coconut milk. I love the “creamy” consistency.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup
Author: 
Serves: Yield Serves 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 poblano chile, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 can {14 oz} unsweetened light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped {optional}
Instructions
  1. Heat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss potato, onion, corn, carrot, fennel, garlic, poblano, and oil in a large bowl. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on prepared sheet and broil, tossing once halfway through, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a large pot and stir in spices, salt, wine, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Remove soup from heat and whisk in coconut milk.
  2. Carefully transfer soup {in batches} to blender, and puree.
  3. Add chopped rotisserie chicken {if desired}.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and scallions before serving.

Have at it – and tell me how you adapted it!

May your new year be full of delicious meals, precious friends & countless blessings!

FB cover - chalkboard happy new year

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2 Responses to Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup {spend a day with the nerds}

  1. Kathi@LaughingSpatula.com February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    What a powerful post finished off with a yummy recipe! Life planning is essential to a happy, satisfied life. It may not be on big post it notes (which is so cute by the way)…but with the right mind set and some discipline you can come out pretty sweet on the other side! I am 2 years from an early retirement, married 32 years and excited every day! Good luck to you!
    Kathi

  2. di January 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Friend! I am smiling so big right now reading this post ~ Go Whiteboard Sessions!! :) :) :) This was a super cool explanation on how ” the whole thing works”. You. Rock. Looooooooooove you!

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