Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.
~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
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.
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.
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
When I am in my mind,
My mind gives me what it has:
When I am in my heart
My heart gives me what it is:
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
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.
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.
We’re only here for a short while. And I think it’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention. In some ways, this is getting far afield. I mean, we are – as far as we know – the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself. I don’t know that, but we’re made of the same stuff that stars are made of, or that floats around in space. But we’re combined in such a way that we can describe what it’s like to be alive, to be witnesses. Most of our experience is that of being a witness. We see and hear and smell other things. I think being alive is responding.
~ Mark Strand