In January 2011, when my second baby was just months old and I was suffering from some pretty extreme postpartum blues, I took a chance and applied to become a featured blogger for Whole Living Magazine. What I’d be doing as a featured blogger was following Whole Living’s 28-Day Action Plan, which was a basically the Whole30, before the Whole30 came on the scene.
As I embarked on the 28-Day Action Plan, and cut out all refined foods, including coffee, gluten, sugar and dairy, I was excited. But my excitement soon turned to searing headaches, frustrating cooking sessions in my original 1940s kitchen, steep learning curves and a hunger like I hadn’t experienced before. As a tired, nursing mother, all I wanted to do was sit down with a plate of cheese and Wheat Thins, but I endeavored to stay true to the challenge.
Once I rounded the bend and felt like I could more efficiently and easily prepare health-promoting foods, I found this soup recipe on the Whole Living blog. It became one of the first recipes I made that satisfied me, warmed my insides, and was easy enough for me to prepare, double batch and reheat in a pinch. I ate it for lunch, dinner, and, on somedays, for breakfast!
Over the last six years, I have modified the recipe to make it easier to prepare — for instance, I use baby spinach instead of collards because I can easily grab a generous handful of greens from a pre-washed box, versus washing and trimming large collard leaves, but you can use collards or kale or any type of dark leafy green. I also have the butcher cut my chicken breasts into one-inch cubes so I don’t have to do that step at home.
I consider this recipe the one that ushered me into the world of whole-foods cooking and nutrition, so it holds a special place in my heart. Here you go; I hope you enjoy it!
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 minced garlic clove
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups)
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant in large stockpot.
Add the sweet potato, then the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter and 1/2 cup of the soup mixture into a thick paste.
Add the spinach and ginger to the soup and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the almond butter paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, and top generously with cubed avocados in lime juice.
Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine