And then just like that, we switched the page to a whole new year. Happy 2017! It's been cold in these parts ~ like, really, really cold for us, not to mention all the snow and ice. A good time to stay inside and read all those books you might have picked up over the holidays, or to make any notes on intentions for the coming 365 days (actually 362 now). We've been purging the house (once the tree goes out it creates a purging high we like to chase for a while). We hosted dinners, drank all the champagne, and are still polishing off the last of the holiday chocolate (well, mostly my husband is doing that now). It's back to school and work and soccer practice and worrying tomorrow. And away we go.
I'm currently reading for the second time since Christmas a book that I picked up on a whim *for my daughter*. I've read this blog post by the book's author several times during the past year, and every time I re-read it I love it more than the last time. So when I saw the author's book I knew I had to have it, and wrapped it up with a gift tag on it even though I actually knew better. It was so totally for me. I devoured it in just two days, which for me is a record, cause well, I'm a reeeeally slow reader. Quite simply, I can't recommend this book enough, and have to say it may one of the most impactful reads I've read in a long, long, while. So much so that I'm not going to tell you about it. I'm just going to suggest you read it. Immediately, and then maybe (like me), like it so darned much you just want to read it all over again. Just be warned, there are swears, but not as many as you might think. Just gems. Everywhere.
This soup is one I whipped up based on what was in the fridge, with a base of just three vegetables. Just three! I'm really stoked to report that I'm getting the hang of my CSA box, and am really waking up to the fact that as much as I consider myself a locavore, I've still got a ways to go, but I'm getting closer and closer all the time. Cook up the veggies and herbs in a little water or broth, then blend with milk (plant based or dairy), season to taste and you are off to the races. It's a lovely starter (I served it New Year's Eve), and also a nice light option for those looking to shed a little winter weight ~ whether dietary, physical, or mental. I'm really very pumped for the year ahead, despite world events and what is sure to be turbulent political times the world over. After all, all of the major shake-ups that happened this year will all have repercussions, and the fact that it's 2017 isn't just going to magically alter any of the facts. So I'm planning to do whatever it takes to make good on my personal resolution this year, which is summed up in two unassuming but important words: be present. It's harder in these times than we think, but I've already given myself a head start and boy, do I like it! I'll keep you all posted, and wish you all strength, fortitude and presence of mind. Love and light. xx
Silky Squash & Leek Soup:
- 2 large leeks, sliced and washed
- 2 small delicata or dumpling squash (roughly 4 cups chopped and peeled squash)
- 1 celery hearts (the inside of the celery, about 6-8 small stalks)
- 4 cups water or veggie stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 cups milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
- 2.5 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
Prepare all of the vegetables and add to a large soup pot with the thyme and Bay leaves. Add 4 cups of water or veggie broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes. Once the veggies are tender, remove the thyme and bay leaves (and discard), and transfer the vegetables and cooking water to a blender in two batches, transferring the blended soup to a new pot with each batch. Add the milk to each batch as the blender allows. Once the soup is blended, stir in the salt, honey, and white pepper and gently reheat on the stove at a low temperature. Season to taste and serve topped with a swirl of balsamic reduction, chopped fresh herbs, toasted nuts of your choice, and always a swirl of good olive oil.