We are finally home – just for a few days – our home on the pacific coast, a small, sleepy surf town on Vancouver Island. We left the sunlight of Southern California, for the dappled grey of the northwest, even driving through snow, up the mountain pass late last night, across the curved, winding ribbon that is Highway 4, all the way from the ferry terminal on the east side of the island, to our ocean ridge home.
What does home feel like? Like a huge exhale. This time, nothing fazed me, not the suitcases that need unpacking and organising, the laundry, the aftermath of the caffeine fuelled errand running all day yesterday in Vancouver. It all passed. The best part, our son, fell asleep so happily in his own room late last night and even slept in until almost 9 a.m. a first.
Today, I celebrated the small things, the knowing where everything is in my kitchen, the whisk to make him some scrambled eggs for breakfast, a surprise bottle of homemade blackberry jam from last summer that I had forgotten I saved, and a breath of deep, clean, ocean air. Oh and the quietness, punctuated only by the sound of rain falling and the occasional foghorn, such a contrast from the urban orchestra of sounds that filled our Venice Beach life over the last few months.
I set about to cook a simple lunch, something I miss when we are on the road too much. Here is the recipe: Zucchini Sweet Potato soup. I love soups. I definitely get my love of soups from my mother who learned how to make simple, french, country veloutes from my French aunt, so many years ago in France. The key to making good soup, is fresh, ideally seasonal, organic vegetables, fresh herbs and good broth or alkaline water. Also, a pat of butter if you are not vegan, or just good olive oil. I hope you enjoy it. We have a mantra at home, “what we eat should be just as good or better for our young toddler.” It makes life easy as we all eat the same food, there is nothing “special” i make for him. He eats what we eat. Soups are the epitome of that, full of nutrients, nourishing and easy to digest, perfect for little tummies and ours as well. And I should mention, an ideal meal an hour or so before a yoga practice.
Insiya’s Zucchini Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as an appetiser.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 small carrot, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme (we have some that survived the winter, yay)
2 small zucchini or 1medium sized zucchini, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Pat of butter or ghee, or coconut oil if you are Vegan
2 cups Vegetable broth if you are vegan/ vegetarian or chicken broth, preferably homemade, simmering on the stove until warm.
The how to:
1. Heat the olive oil with a pat of butter, ghee or coconut oil in a medium sized cooking pot until hot.
2. Add garlic, shallot and carrot and thyme. Turn heat down to medium and cook until the garlic releases its aroma, and the shallots and carrots are soft, this will take a few minutes.
3. Immediately add a splash of apple cider vinegar and stir a little bit longer.
Add the zucchini and sweet potato and pour in the warmed broth.
4. Bring to a boil, then allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes. Check that the vegetables have softened, but are not mushy.
5. Blend the entire soup in a vitamix or good blender. If you are using the vitamix, just one zap should be fine. Be mindful that the soup is hot when you are blending, so maybe do a small amount at a time.
6. Voila, the soup is ready to serve. Pour it out into a pretty bowl, garnish with minced chives and relish the simple goodness.
This soup is wonderful accompanied by a salad and a piece of good, crusty truly whole grain bread. We love Florin the bakers dense peasant bread in Vancouver at Beyond Bread, made from organic non GMO wheat.