When I first began the Adopt-a-Gluten-Free-Blogger Event, I had several reasons for doing this. First, I thought it would be great to get to know each other as individuals and each other’s food philosophy or style. I also thought it would be nice to have incentive to actually try and review some of the great recipes on other gluten-free blogs. And finally, I hoped it would be a good way to bring us together as a community. Recently I started introducing themes to the event to make the roundup more useful to readers. I started with a holiday celebration theme, and then most recently, had a Healthy Resolution theme for this January. Sometimes the gluten-free community has a serious sweet tooth, and we can concentrate on sweet recipes and bread-type recipes, neglecting some of the delightful healthy vegetable or protein recipes on our favorite gluten-free blogs.
Well, this month in the spirit of health, I adopted The Crispy Cook and searched her blog for an enticing and healthy recipe. I finally chose her Smoky Sweet Potato Soup Recipe because I’m always looking for more ways to prepare sweet potatoes. I found myself with a little bit of a conundrum as I began preparing it. I am firmly committed to NOT modifying adopted recipes as it is one of our most basic rules of AAGFB. Unfortunately lately garlic hasn’t agreed with me, so I was nervous about using four cloves in the recipe. My compromise was to reduce the garlic to two cloves and sauteed them whole to add subtle flavor and then remove them before pureeing the soup. Also, I have a long standing policy of leaving celery out of recipes ever since an unfortunate combination of the stomach flu and a celery stew in my childhood. I just hate the stuff. But, this time I resolved to trust the Crispy Cook and give celery in soup just one more try. Since it was pureed, I figured I would be less likely to run into chunks of celery flavor in the dish, and instead it would be diffused throughout. Finally, the DH (and lately me, a little) is very sensitive to spiciness, and I was pretty sure the chipotle peppers in adobe would be too much for him. Rachel did give us an option to use a teaspoon of red chili flakes instead, but said we might miss the smokiness. Luckily I have a solution to reduce heat, add flavor AND add smokiness- using smoked spanish paprika in recipes calling for chipotle pepper or chipotle in adobe. (Powdered chipotle would be a hotter option that would also contribute smokiness to the dish). Other than these very minor variations, I followed the recipe exactly as written. I was thrilled to use my immersion blender and find it worked beautifully on this particular dish. I like a nice creamy smooth soup (the less to find the celery, my dear), and was able to get a gorgeous, creamy orange texture. I served it to the DH with the fresh parsley and some toasted pine nuts that added the perfect nutty texture to the experience. I also made some fresh corn tortillas to go with it. Our verdict?
We LOVED it!
THANK GOODNESS we tried this recipe. I didn’t know such simple ingredients could come together in such a wonderful way, and without milk, cream, coconut, or any kind of nut butter that I often add to soups. The sweet potato really sings in this dish, and you know, prepared this way I couldn’t even distinguish the celery. It simply melded with the other flavors in harmony. The DH gave a BIG thumbs up, and I have to agree. We WILL be making this again. Thank you Rachel of the Crispy Cook. You shared a real winner with us!
But who Is the Crispy Cook, anyway?
When Rachel started her blog, it was called “Wheat-Free, Meat-Free”, but she changed over to the Crispy Cook title last year because she felt the new name was not only a little more memorable but also reflected the meal-planning conundrums she was faced with in feeding a family of omnivores, pescatarians, and vegetarians (one an on-again, off-again vegan that doesn’t like nuts or most vegetables). Rachel’s take on the gluten-free lifestyle is to try and cook things that are naturally gluten-free as much as possible. She doesn’t try to recreate gluten-packed food favorites so much as seek out new foods and ingredients to expand our culinary adventures, a philosophy that I can thoroughly appreciate. Read Rachel’s recent explanation of what her blog is all about
Personally, I’ve been reading Rachel’s blog for quite some time and got to know her through her blog’s inception as Wheat-Free Meat-Free. I appreciate her adventurous spirit, international and healthful recipes. Of course at first I identified with her blog because of its vegetarian theme, but I also enjoyed seeing pictures of her kitties and hearing about the bookshop she owns with her husband. I hope you will visit her soon and discover her blog for yourself!
Isn’t it time you got to know the Crispy Cook yourself?