Sometimes, All You Have To Do Is Make Soup
I'm going through a phase where I struggle to step back and realize what truly brings me joy and fulfillment.
It's a long sort of phase, lasting over a decade so far, and with a decent amount of time left, I'm sure.
But I am not discouraged about this anxiety, rather quite the opposite. I realized I was unhappy when I started writing at nine, eventually got around to telling someone at sixteen, and finally stumbled upon the growing path I've been searching for in my mid-twenties. For having such a convoluted mind dipped into a life of infinite potential, I am beholden to my essence, my unapologetic passion, the pure stuff inside that keeps me going.
This isn't to say I haven't repeatedly and unknowingly apologized for my enthusiasm my entire life. Listening to and absorbing criticisms of my intense attitude, over-sensitivity, absurdly gummy smile, and obnoxious hyena laugh have pounded into my mind that my emotional fervor is a thing to be stunted.
Trying to forgive my eager outbursts is a new and fumbly journey for me. But, I can accept the importance of this boisterous energy, because with it comes the boldness I'll need to experience my life fully.
No matter how strong and determined though, we all go through phases where life seems far too mundane to handle, making getting out of bed a journey in itself. People don't want to hear this, myself especially, but the tougher our days, the more inner strength we must unearth.
When I remember that it's okay to slow down and crawl forward with deliberate baby steps, the healing time I need flows abundantly into a well of clarity.
Yesterday, life felt wildly unmanageable, but from this chaos I resolved to find a place of calmness within. Before I could pout about all the chopping, boiling, stirring, timing, and storing that awaited me, I walked straight to the kitchen and began gathering ingredients.
I started making soup.
Turning emotional struggle and expiring produce into delicious stew is my new turning lemons into lemonade.
Making soup does an amusing amount of good for my mood, 'tude, and energy level, too:
- Working with your hands is meditative.
- Cooking for yourself and nurturing primal needs increases feelings of self-worth and safety.
- Soup is a yummy way to get a lot of healthy nutrients in one warm, cozy meal, giving your body feel-good power rather than toxins.
- Making it is about as easy as stirring a pot and using your taste buds. Enjoy a boost of confidence in your cooking skills, and a convenient meal made from whatever is left in the fridge.
Here are some recipes, more like guidelines, that have given me emotional, spiritual, and physical boosts this week. Happy brewing, peace-seekers :)
Home-Grown Tomato Soup
Ingredients I used:
- At least half a dozen tomatoes from the local gardens of friends and family, chopped pretty small or however you want them
- A couple of celery stalks, chopped
- A couple of carrots, chopped
- Half a sweet onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
- A wedge of lemon juice
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- Seasonings to taste, I used: salt, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, black pepper, turmeric, and basil.
- Heat water and veggie stock in a large pot.
- Add onions and garlic and let stew for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat set to simmer.
- Add celery, carrots, squeezed lemon juice, and seasonings.
- Add in tomatoes, still stirring occasionally.
I was graciously given so many tomatoes that I just added more until it tasted tomatoey enough for me. Once all of the veggies were soft, I added a little cornstarch slurry to thicken the broth a bit before removing from heat and allowing it to cool. This recipe made about three salsa jars, so it's enough to share with a couple of friends, or store away for a few quick meals in the refrigerator or freezer.
Sweet Potato Soup, my new slow cooker favorite
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 can of black beans, whole thing dumped right in
- 1-2 carrots
- 1-2 handfuls of de-stemmed kale (unless you're into the stems)
- Up to 2 cups of vegetable stock
- Seasonings, especially salt, cinnamon, ground red pepper or cayenne pepper, and ginger
- Dump in the sweet potatoes, carrots, and black beans.
- Add veggie stock to desired thickness, and then add seasonings to taste.
- Throw in the kale and put the lid on it!
- Heat on low for about 7 hours, or until desired consistency.
This soup is unbelievable for a rich, sweet and snug meal. The seasonings enhance the veggies' natural flavors, while adding a fantastic kick. I have a small crock pot, I believe it's a two-quart guy, so I enjoyed three to four servings from this recipe.
Detox Veggie Soup
This one I cannot take credit for, but I LOVE it so much that I wanted to spread the word about its glory. This recipe's got lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and a ton of fresh veggies that your body will love. I go straight to this soup whenever I need to clear my sinuses, feel a boost of healthy energy, or just feel good about a warm homemade meal.