A colorful and versatile meal, hot or cold.
I recently ended a 15-week relationship. No tears. I knew going in that it would not be for the long haul. Instead, it was a sizzling hot at times, a steamy mess. Other days it was cold, short, and quick. I walked away.
I knew it was time to take care of my own needs. To show myself some love and compassion.
So, I canceled my vegan meal kit plan. It was time to get back into the kitchen with my own ideas. I am grateful to the plan, though. When the pandemic flew into town on his jetliner, and the shutdowns started, I was confused. Could I venture out? Mask on, six-feet distance, or was I supposed to stay home since the orders called for those 65 and older to huddle inside?
I was confused, the world was confused. So, I decided to try home delivery for groceries, and finally try a vegan meal kit delivery too. Home delivery happened twice only. Plastic bags, ugh; I did not know I could ask for paper—although still not a good idea. We kill too many trees.
It was time to end the overwhelming amount of plastic from delivery that I had been working diligently to get rid my apartment of, for over several years.
I am grateful for our short-term relationship. Flings can be fun and sizzling and dizzy and sumptuous. Exploring new meals, exotic spices, and imaginative sauces. Finally, I learned how to make a cashew cream sauce and colorful salsas. I experimented with most meal plans; gave away all the garlic and onions to the neighbors.
It was time to try out further options, and experiment I have. I wanted to revise the mint spinach soup they had one week. Off to the Saturday Market: needed carrots, but, needed spinach and mint too. Carrots: no problem—one white, one orange, one yellow, and a purple. Hmmm, something is missing.
Then Kelly shouted out, “I forgot to tell everyone that I have spinach and mint today.” Gasp, yes, yes, yes! Think: my best imitation of the diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally.”
I reached inside the side pocket of my freezer bag and extracted a mesh bag and held it up to her and asked if she could fill it with spinach. She handed me a bag to use as a glove and told me to feel free to fill it up myself; the number of folks at the produce stand was growing and all her employees had called out for the weekend shifts. I did—I stuffed spinach in that bag until it could no longer expand. Then the mint; she took care to make certain my soup would be minted.
So, on to the ingredients and recipe. This is for one large bowl.
Supplies and Ingredients for the soup:
Spinach: approximately 8 ounces—for a large bowl.
Carrots: 2 large or 4 small. I went ¼ or more of each of the four different-colored carrots.
Mint: ½ to 1 ounce. I do not measure; I just cleaned and chopped. Save some for garnish.
Hot pepper: to taste. I went with an entire hot green one.
Oil: of your choice; I used avocado oil.
Spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, sea salt.
Water: about 1 cup (I winged it).
Misc: Pot with lid; blender.
Cashew cream sauce (optional, but, really tasty):
Cashews: ¼ cup soaked overnight, or a quick 20-minute hot water soak.
Hippie dust: aka nutritional yeast; approximately a heaping tablespoon.
Water: a ¼ cup cold, however, have more in case.
Lemon: to taste; a ¼ to ½ of a lemon is typical.
Salt & pepper: optional; I used a pinch of sea salt. Unusual for me, but I am exploring cooking articles and short courses, and salt, so they say, marries the flavors together.
>> I make the cashew cream sauce first. And put it in a small glass container. I saved time by placing the cashews in my bullet, with the hot water for about 20 or more minutes before I started the above steps. So, now, I only need to add the remaining stuff and water, stopping to see if I need more.
>> Wash and dry the blender, you will need it for the soup.
Spinach Carrot Mint Soup: Recipe
1. Time to set up your clean counter space: set up all your ingredients; wash and dry your produce, remember, with love.
2. Add oil to the pot and let it pre-heat. I will add some spices here, sometimes all of them, it depends, and we do not want them to just burn the bottom of the pot, so have your chopped carrots ready to go in before that happens.
3. The carrots won’t take too long, so chop the mint and spinach, removing the stems. Place a little mint aside, but sniff it first, and sigh. Such an aroma. Add the spinach and mint to the pot.
4. Start pouring in your cold or room temperature water, not too little, not too much, just right. Follow the Goldilocks principle—not too soft, not too hard, just right.
5. Once the greens are slightly wilted, slowly and very carefully, transfer the hot soup to your blender or gadget of choice. Slowly blend, stopping to check for the consistency you desire. It doesn’t take much time.
6. Tenderly pour the soup into a bowl of choice. I found a bright, autumn-colored golden one made from maple wood. A contrast to the deep green soup.
7. Spoon bits of cashew sauce, and feel free to release your barista creativity by drawing through it to make swirly forms. Top with some fresh mint.
Grab a spoon, take a long whiff, ahh. Close your eyes a moment. Then eyes open, closed, or gaze down, give gratitude.
Bonus recipe: Carrot Hemp Patties: an Awesome Surprise!
For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.