The Power of Soup and Rest

Tuesday of last week started off great, but somewhere in the afternoon I began to feel off somehow. My energy was down, I was aching everywhere, and I had a headache accompanied with sinus pressure. Wednesday morning, I felt worse. I immediately decided to focus on self-care. I kept telling myself “no, you’re not going to get sick” and took it easy.

I drank tons of my favorite tea, took a walk outside and took in the fresh air, and made sure to have a nice big bowl of soup. The rest of the night, I laid on the couch next to my pug and finished a Christmas film I had started earlier. Holiday films or my favorite movie, “Because I Said So,” will put me into a more willing mood to sit and rest. By ten o’clock last night, I was in my room turning off the lights and crawling into bed.

Wednesday morning, I felt much better. My nose was still stuffy and I still felt achy, but not half as much as I did the day before. I believe what I did Tuesday (and I continued this into the weekend) worked. I took the time I needed to slow down and really feel how I was feeling. I did what was necessary to rest. I even disconnected a bit and made time to go outside into the fall air and go for a walk.

Practicing rest is important to keep our mind, body, and spirit in tip-top shape. Do a quick inventory: what could you do right now, or this week, that could help you practice rest?

Small Kitchen Tales: Veggie One-Pot Soup

Today, I was feeling slightly under the weather, and it rained all day. What better time to make soup than on a day like that?

I decided to forego a recipe- I figured I could make a decent soup with a few ingredients in my favorite canned soups: carrots, celery, chicken, noodles.

Instead of chicken, I subbed in chickpeas, which add a really nice flavor to many dishes that call for chicken. I also used vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

At the grocery store, I picked up 4 fresh carrots and a bunch of celery, and some egg noodles, along with a fresh rosemary baguette.

I came home, excited to begin my first not-with-a-recipe soup. I peeled and chopped the carrots, chopped the celery. Drained the chickpeas. And then placed everything in my Crockpot.

For seasoning, I added the basics: onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and a splash (I’d say about 1 1/2 tsp) of soy sauce.

Then I turned on the Crockpot and walked away.

What happened next?

When dinner made it’s arrival, I ended up choosing a more breakfast-like meal, my comfort food, even before soup, when I’m sick. But that doesn’t mean this soup is going to waste. I’m going to hopefully tackle making my own pie crust, to make a homemade pot pie.

Wish me luck? 😉

Rainy Day Veggie Soup

4 large carrots, washed, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, washed and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chickpeas, drained (if canned- I used canned)
1 tsp- 1 tbsp soy sauce (based on your own preference
1 pkg egg noodles
Various seasonings adjusted to taste:
salt
black pepper
red pepper
oregano
onion powder
garlic powder
cumin

1. Add all ingredients, except noodles*, to Crockpot.
2. Adjust time to cook for at least 4 hours, if not more.
3. Enjoy!

*I made the mistake of adding all the ingredients, including noodles, to the Crockpot at the beginning of its cooking time. I’d wait until at least the last hour to add them. Mine became, well, mush. I was quite embarrassed.

Other than the noodle mistake, one other change I’d make if I were crunched for time would be to sautee the carrots and celery for about five minutes in a pan over medium heat on the stove, with a touch of olive oil, prior to adding to the Crockpot. This would more than likely ensure softer, evenly cooked, vegetables.

Anyway, despite not having an actual serving of the dish, I did do several tastings and was very pleased with how it turned out. The rosemary baguette (which I must try to make homemade someday- but I really dislike making bread dough) rounded out the flavors of oregano and cumin in the soup. The filling itself was very thick- perfect to use in a filling for a pot pie.

What easy dinner/soup recipes have you created, sans recipe? I’d love to know!

**I always hate making mistakes in the kitchen. It makes me embarrassed, and frustrated. But a great thing to remember: like life, there’s going to be mistakes. Things can get messy, seem out of control. But eventually, with a little tweaking and even patience, it turns around.**

Happy Tuesday!

`Ashley