The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Food For The Ango

Day  6 of the Spring Ango

One of my personal practice Gates is cooking hearty, healthy foods to support the next 8 weeks, to provide nurturing, delicious meals for my body.  

Yesterday I was thinking about the image of Shakyamuni at the river bank, when Sujata found him collapsed and near death from starvation. 
The Ango vow includes gratefully accepting what is offered for sustenance so that we can practice with vigor, patience and right mindfulness.  
Once, many years ago, I pushed my begging bowl out into the stream, and as it floated against the current, I too made a vow to wake up! 

Oh, I have many more pounds on this body than Shakyamuni did for sure, but starvation can also be about spiritual depravation, about a hungry heart-mind, and a hunger for community.  Starvation has many guises, but in every place we turn the Triple Gem shines, if we only place our begging bowls into the stream.

Some meals are more successful than others.  This morning's breakfast was a green smoothie that just didn't hit the spot, even though the ingredients were awesome super foods on their own--it was the combination that didn't satisfy.  Oh well.  Down the hatch anyway with a little thank you to the folks who grew and picked the melon, the banana and the spinach.

Last night's dinner was a winner however, and it's also on the menu for lunch.

Creamy Potato Soup with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola

2 T good quality olive oil
1 large leek, white & green parts washed and chopped
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
4 C low sodium chicken broth   (I used homemade turkey broth, the last from the xmas turkey)*
2 C whole milk

2 large yellow onions
Gorgonzola cheese

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 6 minutes
Add potatoes, broth and milk.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
In a blender, working in batches, puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is simmering, slice onions into thin rings.
Heat a combination of olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the onions, a sprinkle of sugar, and sauté at low heat for a good 20 minutes.  Slow cooking brings out the sugars in the onions.  Brown slowly.

Serve in wide bowls, top with caramelized onions and crumbled gorgonzola cheese.

Rachel Ray, April 2014
*Thanks for making the turkey broth honey!

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