Happiness in a Bowl of Cauliflower Soup

Yesterday, I woke up with a ton of energy.  I was riding a high from Saturday – finding a recipe for nut-free, semi-healthy cookies that my entire family will eat (other kids tried them – and they liked them too . . . so I know it really is a good recipe), seeing my son take part in a ceremonial puck drop for his hockey association, and then spending an awesome afternoon that turned into dinner with friends and their kids.  It was a fantastical day through and through.

So what did I decide to do with all that energy . . . . tackle the garden of course!  There was no better today to put the garden to bed for the winter – it was sunny, not too cold, and I had all the time in the world to get the job done.  Of course, as I went to the garage to get my gardening tools, I was faced with the obstacle course that my garage had become (yet again!).  So, with the help of the Husband, we did a massive garage clean-out/up.

At some point, probably during the basement reno a few years ago, I filled a big plastic tub with kitchen stuff that wasn’t in every-day use.  Clearly, we’ve never needed any of it, as I had completely forgotten that it was out there.  But since I had unearthed it, I decided it was time to deal with it.  For the most part, I had no issues getting rid of the stuff in that box.

Except for four ceramic bowls.  I bought these bowls when I was still in university.  When I had hopes and dreams of one day having a husband and kids.  And a house of my own.  And I would feed my small, perfect children their morning cereal out of these adorable little bowls.

Right.  So . . . I have the husband, the kids (still kinda small, and delightfully imperfect), and the house.  But the kids don’t particularly care for cereal (at least not for breakfast anyway, as a snack after school, eaten dry, maybe), and the cuteness of the bowls are be completely lost on them (I believe my son asked if there was a Star Wars version that he could have instead).

Hmmmmm.  I tried all my new tricks; what did these bowls me to me right now?  did I really need them?  What would my life be like if I gave them on to someone else to love???

And then I did what any logical person would do.  I washed them, made a batch of homemade soup, and sat down to enjoy my soup out of my treasured bowls.  Maybe the novelty will wear off in a day or two and then I’ll be ready to part with them.  But for now . . . I’m going to use them, be thankful for my dreams that have come true, and enjoy my soup.

Happy Monday.

Roasted Cauliflower and Apple Soup

  • Servings: 8 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 heads of cauliflower

olive oil

2 apples peeled and cut into eighths (I used MacIntosh this time)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

3 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters (or use 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped)

4 cups stock or bone broth

salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or tin foil.
  2. Roughly chop the cauliflower and toss it with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Arrange the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheets.
  3. Scatter the apples, onions, and garlic amongst the cauliflower.
  4. Put the cookie sheets in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to brown and look “roasted”.
  5. While the cauliflower etc. is roasting, heat up the stock in a large pot.
  6. When the cauliflower is roasted, add it all to the pot and bring it all to a simmer.
  7. Take the pot off the heat, and using an immersion blender, puree the soup.  (I then used my blender to further puree it . . . but it’s not necessary).

Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good (aka Sweet Potato Soup)

I first heard the Coach use the phrase “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” a while ago.  At the time, it was brought up in the context of a joke.  But the phrase has come up a few times since during our training sessions.

If I’m to be brutally honest, whenever I hear these words, I immediately think “good is just a stepping stone to perfection”.  In other words, I’ll take the “good” today because it means I’m headed down the road towards perfection – which is really my end goal in the gym AND in life.  (not that I can tell you what perfection in the gym AND in life looks like; I figure I’ll know it when I see it . . . I’ll let you know if I ever get there . . . Hah!).  (And yes, I DO realize how ironically imperfect a student I’m being by not listening to the lesson the Coach is earnestly trying to get through to me).

Elizabeth Gilbert just came out with her new book Big Magic.  I’ve enjoyed reading it this week, and have gleaned some valuable insights from it.  But then this morning, in a section called “Fear in High Heels”, I came across this quote:

“Perfect is not only the enemy of the good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible, and the fun”.

And then this one:

“Perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified”.

Oh my.

I think I have some thinking to do on how much I really want to achieve absolute perfection in my life . . .

That being said, I am quite certain that I achieved perfection with the soup I made this morning.  This is a staple in our house; a quick side that I can whip out of the freezer for the Husband and I on a busy weeknight, or just a nice weekend lunch for us . . . no, the kids don’t like it . . . and no, I don’t make them consume it.  One day they will come to realize just how fantastically perfect this soup really is though!

Curried Coconut Sweet Potato Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1tbs fat (coconut oil, olive oil, or butter)

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups bone broth / stock

1 can full fat organic coconut milk

2tsp curry powder

Directions

  1. Melt the oil in a large pot on medium heat, and once melted, add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring as required, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add in the sweet potatoes, and stir everything well.
  3. Pour in the bone broth and cook until the sweet potatoes are really soft.
  4. Add in the coconut milk and curry powder and again stir to combine.  Let the mixture come back up to a simmer and then remove from the stove.
  5. Either let the soup cool and puree it in a blender or use an immersion blender and puree it all while it’s still hot; I vary the method I use based on how quickly I want to consume the soup.

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