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Soup for the Soul

Do you ever have one of those days? You know exactly what I'm talking about - the kind of days that make you want to crawl back into bed with the covers over your head. The days when the thought of eating an entire pint of ice cream seems like the BEST idea. The days that you wish were only a bad dream, and that you would wake up any second and it would all go away.

Sometimes life feels like a treadmill, and you're running as fast as you can, but never going anywhere. Two steps forward, five steps back as I have heard someone say, and that just when you think you're getting ahead, something major strikes and reality hits again. Let's be real here - life is hard. It looks different for everyone, but we all experience the same emotions, thoughts, doubts and worries as we try to navigate our way through the chaos. It's humbling to know and accept that I don't have it all together, even when my type-A personality wants to tell me differently. It's amazing to know that I don't have to handle it all on my own.

I'm thankful for the support of family, for friends, and for the grace and mercy of a God who loves me, regardless of how my life looks (and believe me, I feel like a hot mess most of the time). I'm thankful for the ability to do the things I love, and to be able to express myself through my passions. I'm thankful for the little moments that add light to what seems like the darkest of times.

I remember the first time I made this soup; I had made it for a catered lunch, and a client had told me that it was the best tomato soup they had ever had. Flattered, I made sure to write down the recipe and keep it close, not knowing the impact a soup recipe could make down the road. I had the privilege to teach this young man weeks later how to make the soup himself; he had no cooking experience and had mentioned to me that he had very little confidence in his abilities, in all areas of his life. For me to be able to teach him how to make a simple tomato soup was an opportunity for me to make a difference in his life. We spent the day chatting and telling stories, and he was happy - just because I took the time to listen and show up.

So when you feel like things are spinning out of control, like you're never going to get ahead or you have nothing left today, remember that you don't have to go through life alone, and something as simple as tomato soup can add some light to your life.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup:

2 tbsp olive or coconut oil

1 large white onion, peeled and rough chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed

6 Roma tomatoes, rough chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, no sodium

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4-1/2 cup coconut cream (can use regular 35% cream)

  1. In a large pot over medium/high heat, bring your oil up to temperature.

  2. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and sweat them (stirring often to avoid browning) until the onions have softened and start to become translucent.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

  4. Add in the tomatoes, the stock and the seasonings, and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat, take the pot off the stove and allow to cool slightly. Add the basil and cream of choice to the soup. Using an immersion blender or a blender that can handle high temperatures (I use a Vitamix), blend until completely smooth.

  6. Serve with extra cream or more fresh basil for garnish.

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