Transparency on this blog is something that I struggle with. My blog is so intertwined with my career and my professional dealings that I’ve often wondered if my openness and honesty here was going to be a hindrance rather than a help. It’s been a bumpy few weeks and, while I’ve poured my heart out once, I’ve been reticent to talk freely here about some things I’m feeling. Will people judge me? How many negative comments can I handle? Are the readers that come here going to support me like I give them the credit for?
This space came out as a way for me to write…and to share photos – to nourish other people with recipes and food at the same time as I nourish myself with an outlet for my feelings and interests. It’s my safe haven. My log to perch on in the midst of rocky river. I’ve been blessed time and time again with people reaching out their hand to me when I’ve needed it. I’ve needed to remind myself that the hard work and time and energy that goes into my blog earns me the right to say and do (pretty much) whatever I damn well please here.
Loss is a tough thing to talk about and toe the line between emotional and stark raving mad. As a community, we’ve done a great job at wearing our hearts on our sleeves in a way that’s inspirational and uplifting. The past few weeks, personally, have been riddled with sorting out the feelings of grief and balancing that vulnerability with that primal urge for revenge. Of vindication for losing something you care about. The gut instinct of hoping “an eye for an eye” holds true pitted against the cold, hard something-I’m-learning-as-an-adult fact that vengefulness doesn’t necessarily equal closure…and it sure as hell doesn’t doesn’t bring anyone back. For the circle of folks around me, loss and the strength of the feelings that surround it have (sadly) been a reoccurring theme these past weeks. I don’t have the answers – gosh I wish I did – but I’m letting myself say these things today because I’m trying to sort it out…and because I can. This is my little plot to muck around in the dirt however I want.
Before The Saturday Soup was a regular feature on the blog, posting a soup recipe often sent up a flare to those who know me “in real life”. They’d see that and check on me – send me a text just to see if I was doing ok. Soup is comfort for me and making soup weekly has been a joy – it’s my weekly therapy session. I miss soup when I don’t have time in the kitchen. This week, I can tell you, I absolutely needed to make soup.
This recipe is pure comfort in a bowl. It’s creamy and filling without being terribly heavy. It’s pretty good for you, too – nourishing in many ways. The texture of this is a little thick because of the edamame – think split pea soup. Feel free to thin it out with some more stock or water if it’s too thick for you. I ate this soup warm but I think it’s also a good base for a summer soup served cold or at least room temperature. My version is a simple whiz of the soybeans with a little coconut milk and S&P. Use it as a base to add some curry flavors, some heat from a chili or wasabi or some zing from a bit of ginger. A dollop of fresh whipped cream stirred in softened it and made it heavenly but leaving it off the dish makes this soup vegan, as well.
Creamy Edamame Soup – serves 4 as a starter course or light meal
– In a medium stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add in the shallot and saute until translucent but not brown – 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the edamame and chili flakes and mixed until combined. Let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes to start to warm through and mingle with the shallot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk. Allow to cool to room temperature before pureeing in a Vitamix, high powered blender or food processor – you need the oomph of one of those machines to break up the soybeans. Return to the pot and bring up to a simmer – adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper to your liking here. Portion into bowls and top with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche. Serve immediately. This soup will keep 4-5 days in the fridge in a tightly sealed storage container.