Why play hooky from work? To go ski!

I got a text from my co-worker last night:  “The Hill got a foot and a half of snow Monday.  Want to ski tomorrow?”  Let’s see…my surgery was 1 month ago, immediately after my surgery came the biggest snow dump of the century and I missed the best skiing of the season.  I haven’t been on skis since President’s Day weekend.  I think the answer is YES, I will go skiing.  Besides, I could think of no better way to celebrate the 1 month anniversary of my surgery.

I had considered checking the snow report last night, but I wasn’t even sure there would be an update, since The Hill isn’t open on Tuesdays.  Plus, even though we got a few inches in town, I wasn’t expecting a lot of snow up there, so I thought to myself, “What’s the point?”  Usually I’m the first person at work to suggest playing hooky to go ski, but this time it was my co-worker who was the bad influence.  I proud of her, and I know our boss was, too.  Our boss is the type who comes downstairs on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of winter and says, “Y’know, if I were to come down here tomorrow afternoon and find that you all had blown off work to go ski, I would be very proud.”  What’s not to love in a boss like that??  It was a beautiful day on the slopes, as you can see below:

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Oh, and when I got home, I had to meet a photographer from the local newspaper, who was dropping by to take some photos of my chickens.  I spoke with a reporter yesterday, who is writing a story on raising urban chickens, and it just so happened that my name was mentioned to him.  The girls were not happy about the snowstorm on Monday, but it has been warm, the snow is melting in their pen, and they were cooperative for the camera.  Thank goodness.

And what better way to end a lovely day of skiing, and the last official day of winter, than with a nice bowl of soup for dinner?   I got this recipe from my bad influence of a co-worker, who got it from another co-worker.  I’ve had this recipe for only a few weeks, and this is already the 2nd time I’ve made it.  It’s that good.  And Hubby-approved.  I believe the original recipe is from one of the Moosewood cookbooks, but I’m not for certain, as I just have a copy of the recipe with no citations.  Of course, I have altered the recipe, which I do with almost every recipe I come across.  It’s a beautiful soup, with just about every color imaginable: white, green, yellow, orange, and red.  And with so many colors, that means good-for-you nutrients as well.

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Diced onion, green chile, sweet potato, garlic, and red bell pepper, just before going into the soup pot.

Southwestern Sweet Potato Soup

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 small bulb garlic, crushed and finely minced

1 green chile, seeded and finely chopped (I used what was labeled as a pasilla, but it was probably a poblano)

1 medium sweet potato, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried cilantro (if you can’t find dried cilantro, use fresh but add it at the very end of cooking)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon oil

3 cups vegetable stock (or 1 tablespoon concentrated vegetable bouillon paste, plus 3 cups water)

2 cups water

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (seeded and minced), plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernals

sour cream for serving

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and add first 7 ingredients.  Add up to 1 cup of the vegetable stock and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften.  Add cumin and chipotle pepper to the vegetables, stirring to coat veggies.  Add the remaining vegetable stock and water.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add corn, cover, and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.  Puree half the soup in a blender, food processor, or using an immersible blender (my favorite method).  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

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I just love the colors of this soup.  And the flavors are pretty incredible as well.

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Once you stir in a little sour cream, this soup can’t be beat in my mind.

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