It’s that time of year when people gather in droves. Sweaters, Bing Crosby, bubbly drinks, and twinkly lights fill center stage. In the background, the haggard hostess dances around the kitchen for hours, prepping a meal for many—the ones she loves most. Near meal time, it’s inevitable. She questions the depth of her love due to the stress, sweat, and need for another shower.
That’s usually me. Biting off more than I can chew, making an elaborate meal, working right up until the last minute, and missing out on a years worth of conversations and twinkly lights. This year, I’m working smart, not hard. Light, not heavy. Outside the box, not inside. Fresh, not tired.
I have a habit of turning our favorite meals into the ease of soup. Sweet Potato Tacos, inspired by Naturally Ella, fell under the spell. They win over the leaf-eaters and the meat-lovers, while marrying the fresh flavors of summer with the deep, smoky notes of winter. Best of all, it leaves you feeling full without feeling heavy. Garnish as you wish. Make ahead or not. Serve with quesadillas or a simple side salad with a cilantro vinaigrette.
Either way, reclaim meal prep for the masses. This time of year, it comes once, it comes fast. Cook smart, not hard. Pour a glass of bubbly, and dance on centerstage with Bing under the twinkly lights. The soup, it’ll take care of itself.
This soup wins over the leaf-eaters and the meat-lovers, while marrying the fresh flavors of summer with the deep, smoky notes of winter. It’s light yet filling. And best of all, it leaves you feeling full without feeling heavy. Garnish as you wish. Make ahead or not. For a crowd, double or triple the recipe.
1 bell pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1/4 c. honey
2–3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped finely
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
juice of 1 lime
4 c. Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth
3 c. sweet potatoes, diced
monterray jack cheese
Prep vegetables. In a stock pot, heat olive oil until hot. Add in pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat for about three minutes. Salt to taste.
Turn heat to medium-low. Add in beans, honey, chipotles, cilantro, and lime. Salt to taste. Stir. Top off with 4 cups of Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth and cook for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen.
15 minutes before serving, add in sweet potatoes and cook until just softened. Taste and add more salt as needed.
Garnish with cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro. Serve.
• This soup can easily be made ahead of time. Follow steps 1-2 and freeze or refrigerate for later. Reheat to a rolling boil and add sweet potatoes, cooking until just softened.
• Can’t part with meat? Keep it easy by adding in pulled rotisserie chicken with the beans and spices.