The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Sunday, Another Soup

Sunday afternoons this Fall have been spent making enough food to see me through 5 lunches, 5 easily packed meals that satisfy and interest me, so that I'm not running out from work to get something I truly don't want or need.
It's easy to make a soup, and during the week, it's all I need at lunchtime.  Add some crackers and fruit and it's just right.

The cleanse I participated in last month was really valuable, even if I haven't continued with it 100%.  I've added some dairy, I've switched the caffeinated coffee to a good decaf (Pete's is excellent), and I'm back to having a sweet now and then.  I've stayed off the glutens for the most part and I've continued guzzling lots of water.

But probably the biggest change is a new connection with what my body really craves, what it really wants, and it seems like what it really wants right now is wholesome, healthy, fresh and simple.  This comes as a surprise, being a very recent junk food queen and candy whore!

After paying a little bit of attention, my taste buds are calling out for fresh!  My eyes thrill to the smoothie that appears in the blender every morning--every morning is a different color that can't be anticipated!  My hands take pleasure in selecting, washing, chopping and combining everything in a big pot!  A shake of cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne, dried thyme crumbling between my finger tips!  And then the smell of everything in combination as it takes on a unique blend, never before concocted in exactly this way, what a revelation!

Tasting as I go, adjusting, realizing I added a wee bit too much heat (whoo!), or not enough cumin, or trying to figure out how to doctor a recipe to give it more pizzaz; it's like being a scientist in the lab.
It's liberating to finally have some fun with cooking and to dream up new taste sensations. To color outside of the lines so to speak.

Because I took 8 days to clean the slate, clean the palate, cleanse the body and begin anew, my body is now telling me exactly what would taste yummy and I'm able to hear, loud and clear.  And somehow, listening, paying attention, has brought a new freedom to cooking and eating.

This was the soup I made last week, it's a winner!

Butternut Squash-Bartlett Pear Soup

3 Tbs good olive oil
2 medium leeks, white & tender green parts finely chopped (3 cups)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 in. pieces (2 lbs--I used pre-cut)
3 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 in. pieces  (1 1/2 lbs.)
5 Cups low sodium veggie broth (choose this carefully, some taste much better than others)
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

1.  Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat, add leeks and cook 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring often.

2.  Add squash and pears, sauté for 5 minutes.  Stir in the veggie stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add salt, if desired.  Simmer 20 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender.

3.  Remove from heat, stir in coconut milk.  Puree soup in batches in blender or food processor, or use immersion blender in saucepan; blend until smooth.
Return soup to sauce pan and stir in thyme.  Reheat over medium-low heat 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper, serve with pumpkin seeds.

I roasted the pumpkin seeds in olive oil and salt until they were golden brown, which adds a great layer of flavor, plus some crunch.

from Vegetarian Times

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