Please read Elizabeth’s essay at NPR, and please also visit her blog. It’s a good day to be inspired, and The Anchoress delivers.
Different cultures, the Catholic church, and other Christian religions honor this day in different ways. For some, it is a day to fast and spend time in silent contemplation. For others, food may be eaten, but it should be simple and not include meat (in others, fish is permitted). For others, it’s a no-holds-barred party.
For me, I’m keeping it simple. I have left-over roasted asparagus and a blend of whole-grain brown rice that I made last night. Also have some sole fillets that I didn’t cook last night that can be made quickly in a skillet with lemon and a little butter.
I’m also making Alton Brown’s vegetable soup.
GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 Cups chopped leeks, white part only (about 3 medium leeks)
2 Tbs. finely minced garlic
2 Cups carrots, peeled & chopped into rounds (about 2 medium)
2 Cups peeled & diced potatoes
2 Cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4″ pieces
2 Quarts chicken or vegetable broth
4 Cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 Ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7-8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans. Continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from head and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt if needed.
SOMETIMES I substitute asparagus for the green beans, depending on which look best. I often omit the corn if it is not in season. Sometimes tomatoes smell and look terrible, so I leave them out. Sometimes I add some red pepper flakes when sweating down the leeks. Hey … it’s soup! Play around, depending on what you like and what’s in season.
Now … please read the NPR and Anchoress links. Take time to do some gratitude contemplation. If you aren’t fasting, feed yourself with something simple and healthy.