Cooking with Confidence: More Soup, Please!

Auntie Stress - more soup please

Now that the weather has cooled down, and autumn has blown in with it's new-set pace, soup is top-o'-the-menu in our house. The bonus with this recipe is that you'll only have one pot to clean after dinner. Yay!

Learning to Trust in the Kitchen

If your approach to cooking is one of uncertainty and fear, the following recipe will give you the opportunity to be a little more adventurous. How can you build trust in your cooking abilities if you never venture beyond the fear that you can't cook or the indecision that comes from not knowing what to make?

Before you even step into the kitchen, pay attention to your simmering thoughts about your abilities in the kitchen. Acknowledge them, then take them off the burner and replace them with more appetizing ones like: Let's see how this will turn out; I can do this; or Yum! Something healthy for dinner and it's all in one pot!

The quality of your thoughts, emotions and feelings are just as important as the ingredients you use in your cooking. Those unwashed negative thoughts can trigger the stress response, freezing you out from the joys of cooking. And, maybe right now, "joy" is too adventurous a word to use, but in time, and with practice, you may get to like experimenting in your kitchen.

Soup Recipe

If I have a lot going on, or rheumatoid arthritis is having its way with me and I don't have the energy to fuss in the kitchen, I'll make this quick and easy soup.

  1. Pull out your soup pot.
  2. Add water. The amount depends upon how many servings you'd like to make. I like to double up and freeze them in lunch-size batches. If you need a measurement, I'd say between 6 to 8 cups of water.
  3. Then, add the triumvirate of onion, garlic and celery. Don't worry about dicing/slicing too fine - you'll blend everything at the end.
  4. Now, go to your fridge. Choose from an assortment of veggies: spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes. This is an ideal way to use up those vegetables that are on the cusp of turning - they're getting soft, mushy, wrinkly or changing colour. You know, the veggies that you wouldn't want to serve to the Queen, if she just happened to be coming for dinner. (If you notice your veggies are not at the peak of perfection for serving on their own, put them into a freezer bag and freeze for your next batch of soup!)
  5. Add protein: garbanzo beans, lentils, black beans, navy beans - either canned or cooked in your pressure cooker. I like to cook a big batch in the pressure cooker and freeze them into meal-size containers.
  6. Add seasoning: vegetable or chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, parsley.
  7. Now add the interesting seasonings. Try garbanzo beans and cumin; black beans and taco seasoning; navy beans and dill. Will you let me know if you've come up with an interesting flavour? When it comes to seasoning, start with small amounts and taste until you get it just right.
  8. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until veggies are soft. Cool. Blend with an immersion blender or your food processor.
  9. Heat and enjoy. Dependent upon your ingredients, you might wish to stir in a dollop of Greek yoghurt, or grate some cheese into your bowl for an extra bit of flavour.

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