Every winter I find myself returning to some version of a creamy puréed broccoli soup. This time around I’ve gotten the making of it down to a very simple formula. In fact it’s a formula that I’ve used successfully for making a roasted butternut squash soup and a roasted cauliflower soup. I think it’s a formula you can use to make other roasted vegetables into soups as well, without overthinking it, adding different spices or herbs to bring an individual flavor to each soup.
I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to root vegetables, which means I eat a lot of sweet potatoes. Nothing wrong with that, but why play the same note over and over again when you have so many others to choose from? I realized how monotone I’d been after eating at a local farm-to-table restaurant where one of the sides was mashed parsnips, and since then I was determined to add it to my repertoire.
If you aren’t familiar with parsnips, they look like a carrot whose pigment has faded. Though the parsnip doesn’t have the vibrant color of its relative, its flavor and fragrance is so much more interesting than the candy-sweet carrot.
In a matter of days, lunch all over the United States shifted from salads to soups, courtesy of an arctic front delivered via an ocean storm that hit Alaska’s Aleutian Islands over the weekend. Shades of polar vortex to come, perhaps? I submit that this phenomenon has existed here in Texas long before the term was coined last year, where it is not unusual to see a 40 degree temperature drop from one day to the next.
Not all things are an efficient use of your time and energy. Take, for instance, the handheld electric fly swatter. The premise of the handheld electric fly swatter is that you smack said insect once and the electric current zaps the bug dead. It’s sort of like the big POW! that kills the bugs in the cartoons in bug spray commercials, but without the use of toxic chemicals. It’s a fine idea, in theory; quick, easy, portable, and just the sort of thing that calls to husbands from hardware store shelves.
It’s the end of week four, and in terms of the whole30 challenge, my husband and I have officially completed the full 30 days and finished well (high five!) As I mentioned last week, we’ll be continuing on the paleo auto-immune protocol for another two months, and after that will try re-introducing certain foods like eggs, nuts and seeds, and nightshades. In terms of what we put on our plate, for us, this has been a real change in direction, and not merely a temporary diversion from certain foods like other elimination diets we’ve tried before. It hasn’t been easy, but here’s the thing: no lasting, life-changing choice ever is.
My husband and I are still diligently holding the line here in following the whole30 auto-immune protocol, and we have one week left until we complete the 30-day challenge. Once we reach that goal, we’ll to try to stick to the auto-immune protocol for an additional two months to see what kind of progress we can make in our health.
Tomorrow my husband and I start a program called “The Whole30,” a kind of nutritional reset that eliminates sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol and processed food for a period of thirty days. It’s a brilliant way to help the body heal by eating nutritionally dense real food such as pastured meats and organic vegetables and fruits while avoiding food that contributes to inflammation, a damaged digestive system, and any number of resulting chronic health issues.
Temperatures have dropped quite low recently, and we’ve even had a second occurrence of snow. Though we do get ice storms, the soft fluffy white stuff is somewhat uncommon for these city parts of Texas. As old and expiring car batteries are prone to do, mine chose the snow day to fail to start the car. Fortunately, the cable guy working on a neighbor’s house was willing to loan his van for a battery charge. Still, the process involved me digging the jumper cables from among the clutter in our garage, removing the plastic protective cover from the battery, and properly attaching the large positive and negative clamps to their very small matching bolts on the battery. I somehow did this without blowing anything up (though the cable guy had to re-set the clamps a bit), as my husband’s words “just don’t let the clamps touch each other” were clearly in my mind the entire time. Did I mention it was freezing outside?