I’ve been trying to exercise more lately. As a writer with a laptop, a small apartment, and precious few moments of child-free time, I basically laze around in bed all day typing and reading.
The only interruption is the odd phone call or trip to the fridge, the latter of which is punctuated by couch breaks along to way to prevent fatigue.
My building has something they like to call “exercise facilities” -- please note the reality is significantly less glamourous than this name implies -- and I’ve been taking breaks in there trying desperately to make it look like I know what I’m doing, which is a big step for somebody gym-phobic. (“What if the gymies laugh at me?!” my anxiety screams).
I, ever the type to inadvertently make everything as awkward and horrifying to watch as possible, have been asking more exercise-inclined friends for advice.
Advice such as, “What the hell do I do with my arms while running?” and “When I’m on the reclining bike thingy, what the hell do I do with my arms?”. Apparently I’m very concerned about arm movements.
I was lucky enough to be born with some seriously fucked up legs that warranted my tibia bones being essentially reconstructed when I was 9. I had to learn how to walk again, and now activities outside of walking generally come with challenges and chronic pain. I’m always afraid I still look like my legs are backwards, that maybe I still seem deformed, or look somehow different, and all of this will be incredibly and gut-wrenchingly obvious the minute I try to become more mobile than a house cat.
But beginnings have to do just that -- begin. So here we are, trying something new.
Anyway, here’s my favourite new soup.
Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
From Martha Stewart
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds total), peeled and cut
1/2 to 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (I used 1.5 tsp of chile powder, because I am lazy and buying things means going to stores)
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Sour cream, for serving (I didn’t do this—gross)
Toasted flour tortilla wedges, for serving (Also didn’t do this, but not because it’s gross. I used crackers, because I am not fancy.)
In a large pot, heat a tablespoon or so of oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to brown around edges.
Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, chile, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let soup cool slightly. Either blend it with an immersion blender (which, really Martha, seems like the logical thing to do), or use one of the proper upright blenders.
Return pureed soup to pot over low heat and season with salt and pepper. Top soup with sour cream and serve with tortilla wedges, if desired. (I did not desire)