“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
— Charles Darwin
A friend recently sent me this quote, and man does it resonate now more than ever. Sometimes life seems to flip itself upside down. I’ve learned over the years to simply embrace the feelings that come with those sudden changes. To let myself sit with the resulting emotions, while also remembering to keep my head up by doing things I love.
Most often, in times of uncertainty, I take to the kitchen. Cooking has always been a form of meditation for me, and fueling up on nourishing foods always feels right.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of that, enjoying many simple, healthful meals, such as this light, yet warming winter soup.
If you’re seeking a little comforting nourishment yourself, this brings plenty of warmth and vegetables to fill your bowl. I like to top the soup with nutritional yeast, but if you’re not on the dairy-free path, feel free to go with a grating of parmesan instead. And be sure to pair it with a side of crusty bread to soak up the broth. A good drizzle of quality olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on the bread is all you’ll need.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 lg. cloves garlic, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into semicircles
- 1 lg russet potato, cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas or white beans
- 4 cups water
- 1 scant Tbsp thyme
- 2 tsp basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4-5 lg. collard leaves, chopped
- Nutritional yeast
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent. Add potatoes and bay leave. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until potatoes get a crispy exterior; then add diced tomatoes, beans, water, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, a couple large pinches of salt and pepper. (You want this soup to be well salted to pull out the flavors of the vegetables.)
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Add add carrots and green beans and cook 4-5 minutes. Then, add collard greens. Cook another 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes and greens are tender. Adjust salt, if needed.
- Pour into bowls, and top with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast and drizzle of olive oil. Serve aside bread.