Posted in Fire, Food, Gifts, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Home, Life, Mindfulness, Quotes, Recipes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Spring

Souper Sunday

A garnished bowl of chili.

Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.

~ Harry James

This week’s soup is not a soup at all, but a chili.  I figure since restaurants get away with slipping chili into the soup categories on their menus, I can get away with slipping a chili into my Souper Sundays.  The original purpose of my soup challenge was to make something different, but some days I crave an old (or in this case, fairly recent) standby and this chili is my go-to for warmth and comfort.  I actually made this earlier in the week when it was quite cold outside.

This is a vegan chili although you could, if you wanted, add cheese and sour cream (or crema) for garnishes.  M and I like ours garnished with avocado, green onions, and cilantro that I’ve mixed with some lime juice.  It adds a nice, fresh, pop of color and flavor to the dish.

This chili was ready for a close-up.

There are a variety of recipes for this chili.  My favorite is this one, but I do change one thing.  I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of ground chipotle powder.  I’ve heard that some adobo sauces use a meat stock (chicken, usually), but the one I buy does not and is therefore vegetarian/vegan.  When I cut up the chipotle peppers, I remove most of the seeds.  I leave some for the heat/spice.  It’s a difficult balancing act because some chipotle peppers are hotter than others, in my experience.  The more seeds you put in the chili, the hotter the chili will be.  I also add some of the adobo sauce because it adds even more smokey flavor to the chili.  If you can find them, fire roasted tomatoes also add more smokey flavor.

Thanks for stopping by for another Souper Sunday.  If you decide to cook up some of this chili, please let me know what you think of it and/or any variations you try.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  151)  Weekend beach time.  152)  Foggy mornings.  153)  The sound of the Laughing Gulls in the farm field next door.  154)  Sleeping in on a Sunday.  155)  Listening to New Orleans jazz music while typing up my Souper Sunday post.

Posted in Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Food, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Mindfulness, Photography, Quotes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Winter

Souper Sunday

Creamy cauliflower soup

Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.

~ Mark Twain

This week’s soup was a very simple soup to prepare.  You take one head of cauliflower (I used an orange or “cheddar” cauliflower), cut it into florets, and drop the florets into 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.  Add one roughly chopped onion and three tablespoons of walnut pieces (or you can wait until the cauliflower is cooked before adding the walnuts; I prefer to cook the nuts because it’s easier on my gut).  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked.  Add two cups of half & half or milk, and salt and pepper to taste.  Using an immersion blender, puree it until it is smooth and creamy, reheat, and when it is nice and hot, serve the soup with a sprinkling of paprika.  You can also garnish it with toasted walnuts.

I would like to try this again using coconut milk and Thai curry paste.  I think the flavor combinations would work well.  Out of curiosity, I just went in search of a Thai cauliflower soup recipe and found this: Curried Cauliflower Soup.  It sounds so yummy that it might be next Sunday’s soup.

I’m sorry I missed our coffee chat yesterday.  It was a busy, busy day.  Maybe we’ll meander tomorrow.  In the meantime, thank you for stopping by for Souper Sunday.  I hope all is well with you.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  146)  The master bathroom renovation is finished!!  147)  Creamy soups.  148)  Bubble baths (which can now be taken in the new tub!).  149)  Words of wisdom.  150)  A quiet, relaxed and relaxing, Sunday.

Posted in Fire, Food, Gifts, Home, Life, Mindfulness, Photography, Quotes, Recipes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Winter

Souper Sunday and more

Shrimp & andouille gumbo.

Gumbo, of all other products of the New Orleans cuisine, represents a most distinctive type of the evolution of good cookery under the hands of the famous Creole Cuisinieres of old new Orleans.

~ from The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book, 1901

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Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Friday Farrago, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter

A Friday farrago

Spring blossoms.

Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.

~ Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

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Posted in Food, Garden, Home, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Photography, Quotes, Recipes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Winter

Souper Sunday: Minestrone

Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

Whatever I’m doing, I’m in that moment and I’m doing it.  The rest of the world’s lost.  If I’m cooking some food or making soup, I want it to be lovely.  If not, what’s the point of doing it?

~ Sade Adu

I have to warn you before you continue that if you don’t care for salty language, you will not want to read the recipe for this soup.  It’s been adjusted (censored) somewhat, but there’s no doubt about the words being used.

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Now that I’ve got the disclaimer out of the way…  For this week’s soup, I used a recipe from The Thug Kitchen cookbook.  It’s one of my favorite vegan cookbooks because, frankly, the salty language peppered throughout makes me laugh.  I’m childish that way.  The recipes are fantastic, too.  Everything I’ve made from Thug Kitchen has been delicious.

Today I made their Warm The F*ck Up Minestrone.  Normally I would not follow a recipe for minestrone soup.  It is a clean-out-the-fridge type of soup that I intuitively make based on what is available and what needs to be cooked.  However, one of the purposes of this exercise in Sunday soup making is to use the recipes I have on hand.  The Thug Kitchen minestrone is seasoned differently than mine and I have to tell ya, it’s wonderful.  I used fresh rosemary from my garden, and frozen basil from last year’s vegetable garden.  The recipe calls for cabbage or kale.  I had both and they needed to be cooked so in the pot they went.  I also added a sweet potato which is not on the list of ingredients.  It’s minestrone.  There are no rules.

If you’d like to try your hand and soup pot at this recipe, you can find it here.  If you do try it, let me know what you think.

Posted in Air, Beginnings, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Winter, Wonder, Woods

A Monday meander

Small beauty.
Small beauty.

There is no less holiness at this time – as you are reading this – than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.

~ Annie Dillard, For the Time Being

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Posted in Beginnings, Fire, Food, Home, Photography, Quotes, Spirit

Souper Sunday

Red lentil soup
Red lentil soup

Anyone who tells a lie has not pure heart, and cannot make good soup.

~ Ludwig van Beethoven

I am not sure I am pure of heart, but I did make a good soup today.  In an effort to liven up our diet, I have challenged myself to make soup every Sunday.  I love soup, but don’t make it very often anymore.  I have loads of soup recipes, including two cookbooks devoted entirely to soup.  Both M and I save soup recipes from the newspaper or magazines if they sound good.  The saved recipes pile up in a folder, ignored.  It’s time to find out if they’re worth making and keeping.

Today I started with a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  Have you ever read Cook’s Illustrated?  It’s one of M’s favorite magazines because they not only give you a recipe, but explain, sometimes in scientific terms, why the recipe works.  One of the recipes we saved recently is for Red Lentil Soup with North African Spices.  (I did not link to the Cook’s illustrated website because you have to join in order to see the recipe.  I found the same recipe at another site, KCET, a Los Angeles television station.)  I made it for lunch today and it was wonderful.  It is a rather simple soup to make, not too labor intensive.  I left out the mint because M doesn’t care much for mint in his savory food.  I imagine it would have changed the flavor considerably.  I’d love to try this with harissa.  Now that I think about it, I have a big bag of dried chiles in the pantry.  I think I’ll make some.

I will be keeping my Souper Sunday posts short.  Just a photo or two, a description or review and, if available, a link to the recipe.  If I can’t find a link and you’re interested in the recipe, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to email it to you.  Feel free to join me, if you like.  Let’s see how many soups we can make.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂