Friday, October 16, 2015

Taste of Magic Blog Hop

I'm participating once a month in Alexia Chamberlynn's Taste of Magic blog hop!

Something literary and something tasty (okay, culinary).

Click the link above to join in on the FUN.

For my literary, I decided to share one of my favorite quotes. It's from The King's Buccaneer by Raymond Feist.

"Fear holds us and binds us and keeps us from growing. It kills a small piece of us each day. It holds us to what we know and keeps us from what's possible, and that is our worst enemy. Fear doesn't announce itself; it's disguised, and it's subtle. It's choosing the safe course; most of us feel we have rational reasons to avoid taking risks. The brave man is not the one without fear but the one who does what he must despite being afraid. To succeed, you must be willing to risk total failure..."

When I read this, I was at a crossroads in my life and fear was holding me back. These words resonated deep in me. I left the safe path, leaping out into an uncertain fate. It paid off in ways that I didn't even think were possible.

The quote hangs on my fridge as a reminder to always be brave; in life, in love, in friendships, in writing.

And now for my culinary! I went back and forth on which recipe to share. I'm vegetarian and I cook a minimum of four nights a week. It's still HOT here in SoCal so we haven't been able to make soup. I think I made soup three times last "winter" because we never did breakout the sweaters, sweatshirts, or jackets. So I've decided to live vicariously through all of you who are living where it is cold enough to make yummy soup!

The great thing about this soup (aside from the flavor) is the versatility. Swap out vegetables you don't like for ones that you do! Make your own broth from scrap vegetables if you're inspired (Thug Kitchen has an excellent recipe for it!)

Jenn's Veggie Bean Soup (eat your vegetables!)
olive oil, 1-2 T
shallots, 4
sweet onion
garlic, 4 to 6 cloves
crushed tomatoes (throw two or three ripe in the blender or just use canned)
carrots, chopped
vegetable broth, 4-8 cups depending on how much soup you want
kale, 1/2 bunch
broccoli, 1 head chopped
delicata squash (works just as good with butternut! or both!)
zucchini, 2 medium chopped
yellow squash, 2 chopped
green beans (if you use fresh, two handfuls; if canned, one can)
cannellini beans (or any bean you like the taste of)
2 bay leaves
any fresh herbs you have around (I usually add thyme, sometimes rosemary; marjoram works well)

Pro Tip: if you are low on time, chop/slice thin because everything will cook faster.

Throw the shallots, sweet onion, and garlic cloves in the food processor while you chop the carrot. Toss the carrot in a large soup pot with the olive oil. Cook for five minutes, then add your shallots/sweet onion/garlic. Sautee that for another five. Add the fresh herbs if you have any (it tastes phenom without as well so don't sweat it if you don't have anything). Then, deglaze the soup pot with just a little bit of veggie broth, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Pour the veggie broth in. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, and delicata squash. Medium high heat for 30 minutes.

Add the broccoli and kale, cook for another 5 minutes.

Toss in the green beans, cannellini beans, and a pinch of salt. (Your house should smell amazing by now) Let that simmer for another 5 minutes while you're heating up some bread to serve with it.

This should serve 8-10 people. There is only two of us so we eat it for two nights, then I freeze it and we have leftovers for another night or two. It's a great soup to load up on the vitamins if you feel a cold coming on!

Do you have any favorite quotes or recipes?

Be sure to hop on over to Alexia's entry here. And B.E. Sanderson's entry here.