Monday, January 6, 2014

Soup, Summer, Surprise!

Okay, several topics for today.

First off, SOUP. For Christmas my in-laws gave us a Vitamix blender. The funny thing is, my parents did, too. I guess it was just in the air! But we are returning the one from my folks and got a super fun replacement gift already! I'm getting a tad bit distracted though. The point is we got a Vitamix blender. So now we can BLEND ALL THE THINGS!!!!!

The thing I was most excited about was making broccoli soup like my mom makes with her Vitamix. I tried with my regular blender once. IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS SOUP WITH A REGULAR BLENDER. Trust me, I thought it could work but you simply must have a very high quality blender like the Vitamix in order to really puree the soup. Otherwise you end up with chunky, watery soup with a horrific texture. Just don't even try. Don't.

So the first thing I did with the blender (after David made a protein shake) was make the beloved broccoli soup! This is the only picture I took of it though before we ate it all up. Yum, yum! This is definitely something I will be making over and over and over again.

Then today I tried cauliflower soup, and it too was amazing. I am in love. With soup. Sprinkled with a bit of cayenne it was amazing. I wouldn't want to put any meat or anything into it because it seems gross to puree the meat, but it also seems to me that it would be gross to have such a nice smooth, creamy soup, with random chunks of meat in it. No, this soup should be left entirely alone. It is food perfection.

I'm sure now you'd like to try this amazing soup with all this talk of perfection. It makes getting your veggies in really easy, too, as a serving is about 1/4lb of either broccoli or cauliflower. Talk about healthy! So without further adieu, I give you

Broccoli or Cauliflower Soup
 Yield: 4 servings

1 lb broccoli or cauliflower, frozen or fresh (I find frozen easier just because it's pre-chopped but still very inexpensive! I get 1lb frozen broccoli for $0.98)
1 tablespoon butter
Garlic (optional)

Notice the overall lack of measurements? Don't let it scare you if you're a strict recipe follower. I promise this is easy enough without exact measures! 

In a medium saucepan steam, or boil veggies until tender. If boiled, drain (but retain!) the water. Dump your broccoli/cauliflower into the blender, add 1 tablespoon of butter, salt, and pepper, with enough water for the veggies to blend. Add more water as desired until you achieve the thickness (or thinness) you prefer! I like mine thick and add as little water as possible. Add more salt and pepper to taste (I'd guess I add around a teaspoon of salt to mine). 

For the garlic I peeled 4 large cloves and tossed them in the pot with the cauliflower to boil. Easy peasy. But if you don't like garlic (sadness!) you can leave it out. But that will make me sad if you do, so don't tell me you did that. 

See? That's literally all there is to it! My mom has tried it with chicken broth instead of water, and adding some heavy cream to it, but I really like it simple like this. It's easy and cheap! I like the butter for flavor, but also because the fat helps your body to absorb the nutrients in the veggies better! So you really don't want to omit the butter. If you don't have butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or other healthy oils can be substituted just fine! 


Am I the only one already excited for summer to hurry up and come? I want the blue skies, the green grass, the hours spent in my garden with my hands in the dirt and the sun on my back! The shorts and the tank tops. I am already working on plans for the garden this year and can hardly contain the excitement! I'm going to be adding a fence this year, because my free-range chickens have discovered tomatoes. That would be not good. So it will cost a bit more this year, but it will be worth it -- it will give me plenty of space for cucumbers and other climbing things! Now I have to admit, I have an extra special reason for wanting summer this year. The best reason! That is that I'm going to have a baby this summer! WAHOO!

I have never really mentioned it specifically on my blog partially since it is a public blog I never really felt like being that open, but we've had fertility problems since we got married. In the first 12 months of our marriage I got pregnant 3 times (possibly more) only to miscarry every time. After trying to improve my health for over a year after that, we started trying again and for over 2 years, nothing. Then we started seeing a specialist in June and still nothing. But after a total of 5 1/2  really difficult years, we were overwhelmed with the wonderful (and totally unexpected!) blessing of a positive pregnancy test a few days before Christmas! It was the most awesome gift of all, to be sure. Thrilled doesn't begin to describe my feelings. But it's a scary time, too, because of my history. So we're trying hard to take it all one day at a time, and just be thankful for every moment that we have with this precious little baby. Things seem to be going well though, and for that I am so, so very thankful. I am 6 weeks along now, so it's my 2nd longest pregnancy to date thus far. We're praying fervently of course that it ends up the longest of all, with a healthy, happy baby at the end of it! Oh and for the record (because I know some of you will think it!) we were on break from the specialist for Nov/Dec, so no higher-than-average chance of multiples. ;)