My life has felt a little haphazard and hurried lately. And while everyone is still in one piece, it often feels like a circus act getting out the door and juggling everyone’s schedules. My mind has been racing, often waking me up in the middle of the night with worries or with little things forgotten. But one thought has been constantly rolling around in the corner of my brain: simplicity. Simplicity often brings the most satisfaction and happiness in our lives. It brings us back to the core of what is essential to living a beautiful and happy life. I often pack my days full of superfluous things, rushing around to complete each task. At the end of the day I feel drained and burnt out. It’s when I take the time to pour myself into the things that are worthwhile that I feel inspired and satisfied.
A small gift of homemade granola from a close friend; the silence of a quiet house before anyone stirs; a leisure walk in the cold air with the sun on my face, jackets zipped up tight but a smile spilling over with the hope that Spring is on it’s way; snuggling deep under the covers reading a mountain of books to my little girl; drinks with girlfriends; and a date with my husband all add simplicity to my life when things feel far from calm. Creating a fully simple zen life probably won’t happen any time in the near future but reclaiming a few moments will add balance to a life that feels chaotic. It will help me create pockets of calm in a life that often feels crazy.
In keeping with the theme of simplicity, I have felt myself drawn to simple meals lately. This soup from Sprouted Kitchen was perfect after coming in from a chilly afternoon outside. It’s creamy, satisfying, and full of the vegetables my body has needed with the extra dark chocolate I’ve been eating.
Cauliflower Chickpea Soup (Slightly adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen)
2 Heads Cauliflower
1 /2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning the soup)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas*
3 Large shallots
3 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
5-6 cups vegetable broth
Fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup bread, chopped
1/3 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Chop cauliflower into tiny trees. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat evenly. Roast for 25-35 minutes, shaking the pan half way, until brown edges begin to form. While the cauliflower roasts, chop the shallots. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the shallot and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Once the shallots soften, add the broth and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture simmers for a few minutes, turn the heat off until the cauliflower is done roasting and cool enough to touch. While waiting, you can peal your chickpeas (see note below). When ready, add the cauliflower and chickpeas. Using an immersion blender (or traditional blender or food processor), blend the mixture to fine consistency. Add more stock to thin it out, if necessary.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, toss chopped bread in olive oil and place in heated skillet. Stir the bread around until the edges begin to brown. Top the soup with freshly grated nutmeg, fresh thyme, and parmesan.
*After reading Deb’s post on removing the skin from chickpeas for humus, I thought I’d give it a try here. I loved it. If you’re wanting to be
lazy simple, feel free to leave the skin on. It won’t be as smooth, but the flavor will remain exceedingly amazing.