Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Indian Spiced Baked Potato Soup

Just enough spice to make it interesting!

Last Wednesday I had oral surgery. (For details on THAT go to end of this post.) Doctor’s orders: soft food for a couple of days. And, I needed comfort food. For me, that’s potatoes. Potato soup to the rescue! But it can't be bland.

This recipe uses a couple of pre-baked potatoes. I did not peel them; potato skins are full of good-for-you fiber. The potatoes are used to thicken the soup. A bit of carrot and some peas add pretty flecks of color. Fresh onion, garlic and Indian spices really perk this recipe up. No vegetable broth is needed. I was shocked at how tasty this soup was. You will never open a can of potato soup after making this.

2 russet potatoes, scrubbed, rubbed with a bit of oil and wrapped in foil.
2 tsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, minced
2-3 TB chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp powdered cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB low sodium Tamari
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)
2-3 TB fresh chopped parsley

Scrub, oil and wrap potatoes in foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 75 minutes, until nice and soft. Unwrap, cut in half and let cool while you prepare the rest of the soup.

Heat oil and lightly sauté carrots and onion for a couple minutes in medium size pan. Add garlic and sauté some more. I like to add the garlic a bit later so it doesn't get overly brown. When the veggies are limp, add the mustard and cumin seeds and sauté for a minute or so. Be careful of any popping mustard seeds. Add rest of dry spices and stir for a minute. Preheat the milk in microwave for about 90 seconds. Add Tamari, peas and milk to pan. While gently heating, chop up potatoes in small cubes. Add to pot, mashing some to thicken soup. Add parsley and serve.


One year ago...
Mexican Cabbage

Two years ago...
Thick Gooey Chocolate Sauce


WARNING. Explicit dental surgery details below!
Some people don’t care to hear about this stuff. For those of you who really do want to hear about it, this is for you.

The sad part of dental care is it seems that no matter how much you do, eventually you may lose a tooth (or more!). When I grew up, there were no sealants and fluoride treatments and my whole adult life has been one of trying to keep what I’ve got, whatever it takes. Most of my childhood fillings have been replaced with crowns. I’ve had several root canals. It all seems to be temporary fixes until the next tooth crisis comes along. Crowns break and need replacing. Root canals go south. My tooth #5 had a root canal and crown and just kind of dried up and developed cracks. The only thing that could be done was extraction followed by a bridge or tooth implant.

Amazingly, the teeth right next to #5 were unmolested, original adult teeth. I loathed the idea of getting a bridge and having to crown the good teeth to support the false tooth. It seemed that a tooth implant was the best route to go.

A tooth implant is a rather time-intensive process. We’re not even going to discuss the costs. First the doctor had to extract the failing tooth. It literally fractured into pieces during extraction and still there were a couple of shards that worked their way out afterwards. Then I needed to let it heal for a couple of months and get x-rays to make sure there was enough bone to support a tooth implant. The next step was the placement of a titanium post into my jaw bone. The doctor cut open my gum and then drilled a hole into my jaw bone and placed the post. There it will sit for about 6 months, fusing to the bone. There will be a couple of checks during this time to make sure all is well, it’s fusing correcting, etc. When totally fused with the bone, the doctor will open the gum up again and attach an abutment to the original post. My regular dentist will attach the new tooth to this abutment.

The whole thing sounds rather gory and painful. So far it hasn't been too bad and actually not as unpleasant as a root canal or crown. Three days after the post implant I was feeling much better than I did after the extraction and I think I'll probably be able to quit taking Advil pretty soon. The delicious baked potato soup is all gone and that's okay because tonight I'm having my Seriously Green Pizza. All is well in my world!

Have any of you had a tooth implant? I'd love to hear about someone else's positive experience.

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