Sweet Potato soup
Two enormous sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped up into small chunks (about 1000 gram)
Equal amount (in volume, not mass) of dala’at, chopped into small chunks. Dala’at is like pumpkin, but HUGE. It is as if someone captured the Great Pumpkin, killed it, butchered it and sold it for parts.
Five large carrots, peeled and chopped
One leek, chopped into little circles
Celery (optional--the recipe calls for you to forget to put it in. So if you want the authentic Gila-cooking-experience, buy the celery and then forget to add it to the soup. But you do not have to. The soup will come out the same, either way. Obviously).
Three or four cloves garlic, finely chopped
Finger of fresh ginger, grated
I cup plain soymilk
2 tbsp oil
Spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (There may have been chili powder as well. I honestly cannot remember. Go ahead and add it—I bet it would be tasty.)
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot.
- Add the leeks, garlic and ginger and sauté until soft.
- Add the sweet potatoes and dala’at and mix the whole thing well.
- Allow the whole mess to sauté until the sweet potatoes and dala’at are soft (approximately a year) or until you get sick of waiting (thirty minutes). Whichever comes first.
- Add the carrots, the spices and enough water to reach up to the top of the veggies. Allow the whole mess to cook (I do not know the technical term—hot but not actually boiling) while you go goof off on the internet.
- Call a friend. She should point out that your plan to run AFTER Shabbat lunch is not wise, since it is supposed to rain. Agree with her. Tell her that she is very sensible. Under no circumstances should you admit to your friend that this is what you were counting on—that the rain would force you to scrap your exercise plans.
- Of course, now you have no choice but to go running right now. Bring the soup to a good boil, then turn off the heat and then cover the soup so that it will continue to cook, albeit slowly. Put on your running shoes and go for a half hour run.
- Come back home. You have exactly 20 minutes to get showered, dressed and made up for Shabbat lunch. Turn the heat back on so that the soup can cook a bit more in the meantime.
- While getting ready, make sure to curse your hairdresser and all of his future descendents for dying your hair this nasty, dead coal black instead of the warm, dark brown that was on the color swatches he showed you. Seriously consider getting a buzz cut.
- Turn the heat back off and go to lunch.
- Come home three hours later. Take a look at the soup. The dala’at has disintegrated, the sweet potatoes are mushy, the carrots are still crunchy and the whole thing is cold. Ask yourself whether vegetable soup is likely to cause a) the type of food poisoning that is really and truly fatal, or b) the type of food poisoning that is highly unpleasant and that you may wish was fatal, but will not actually kill you.
- Turn the heat back on. We are talking vegetables here. Of course it is type b!
- And besides, food poisoning is dietetic.
- Let the soup cook for an hour. The sweet potatoes have now disintegrated. The carrots are still crunchy.
- It is time to put an end to the carrot resistance. Take your little hand-mixer thingy and puree the soup. Make sure to aim for the carrots. They are soon reduced to mush. Take THAT, you arrogant little mother-fuckers!
- Add the soy milk. Mix into the soup. It now looks really creamy and elegant looking.
- Without (and this is critical) even tasting the soup, add more of the spices. Do it randomly. A lot more cinnamon. A little more nutmeg. Whatever! Be free!
- Continue to cook on hot-but-not-boiling heat for a bunch of minutes.
- Take the soup off the heat and taste it. Yum!
- Put soup in refrigerator.
- (This step is only for those who bought the celery). Notice the celery. Realize that you forgot to add it to the soup.