Fall is just around the corner, and that means the onset of more warming, hearty foods. It’s also an amazing time to start incorporating more of those fall-themed spices. You know, the ones that take you back to memories of holidays past – cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, clove, and ginger.
But these spices need not be reserved for decadent desserts, cakes, and gingerbread cookies. They taste wonderful in savory dishes, too.
In Dr. Melina’s new book Spice Up, Slim Down, she has compiled a collection of some of her favorite recipes, utilizing some of the best health-promoting herbs and spices around. One of those recipes is for Spiced Sweet Potato Bisque, an incredibly warming and nutritious fall soup recipe.
Dr. Melina is a big fan of soups. Why? Because they can help you feel more full while you’re consuming fewer calories. Then there’s the added bonus of nutritious sweet potato, garlic, and a host of incredible spices, each with their own dynamic health benefits.
Here are some of the impressive ingredients that you’ll find in this tasty fall soup recipe:
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients, including fiber and beta carotene. Fiber helps you digest your food properly, ensuring efficient absorption of nutrients. Beta carotene gives orange and yellow vegetables their color, and delivers a mighty hit of Vitamin A. It’s also a beloved “anti-aging” ingredient due to its ability to fight free-radicals that can cause fine lines and wrinkles.1
Clove oil has been used to soothe toothaches for years, as it’s packed with a natural anesthetic called eugenol.2 In traditional medicine, clove oil is also thought to help increase circulation, especially in the stomach, which can aid in fat loss.3 The beautifully aromatic smell of cloves can also feel revitalizing if you’re feeling exhausted.
Cayenne pepper owes its hot bite to a compound known as capsaicin. Capsaicin has been known to raise body temperature and, in turn, help boost metabolism.4 An efficient metabolism means that your body can efficiently transform food into energy!
Cumin has beneficial effects on insulin metabolism, Body Mass Index (BMI), and weight loss. In one study, cumin showed the same effects as a popular obesity medication in inhibiting the absorption of dietary fats.5
Cardamom will have you dreaming of masala chai lattes, but it’s commonly used in savory curries, as well. Cardamom has shown an ability to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.6 It’s also a common traditional way to help soothe stomach aches.7
Cinnamon contains more antioxidants than blueberries!8 But cinnamon is much more than an antioxidant powerhouse. One study showed that cinnamon might also help regulate blood sugar levels.9
Garlic consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disorders.10 It’s also loaded with nutrients, like vitamins B6 and C.Vitamins B6 may help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), while vitamin C may help shorten the duration and severity of colds.11,12
Vegetable stock (broth) is best made from scratch if you have time. Store-bought stocks can be high in sodium and lack any real nutrients. Homemade stock offers a super concentrated boost of all those vitamins and minerals found in your vegetables.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids that can help regulate blood cholesterol and support your heart health. Don’t be afraid of these fats: a Spanish study observed the effects of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on overweight adults, which included EVOO. Participants did not experience weight gain. In fact, some even enjoyed a slight weight loss.13
So, let’s get cooking on that veggie-filled fall soup!
Spiced Sweet Potato Bisque
- 5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1.5 cups shallot onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 cup almond milk
- 7 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 tsp. ground clove
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and/or black pepper (to taste)
- In a large pot, sauté garlic and onions for 3 minutes on medium heat in the olive oil. Add spices, and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Then, add sweet potatoes.
- Continue to simmer over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes, then add almond milk, maple syrup, and vegetable broth.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
- Transfer contents to a blender, start on low speed, and gradually build to full power to avoid splatter. Blend until smooth, place back in your large pot, and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
A Delicious Soup to Enjoy Again and Again
Make a big batch of your new favorite vegetable soup and freeze extra for a quick snack, a work lunch, or for when you don’t have time to cook dinner during the week. It will prevent you from reaching for unhealthy foods when you’re at your busiest.
A hearty soup is also very soothing, so put down the phone and the remote control and take on some mindful eating while you enjoy your soup. Breathe in the fragrance of those wonderful spices in this fall soup … and relax.
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3.The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael Tierra, pg. 123