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Soul-searching and Broccoli Soup

Smooth broccoli soup with crumbled raw goat cheese

There is a trend surfacing among those near and dear to me. Midlife crisis. I can’t imagine that we are old enough to be in mid-life yet, but I guess we are?  I prefer to think of it as more of a transitional phase – a soul-searching phase. My friends are quitting their high-paying jobs, thinking about sabbaticals or parting from long-term relationships. This is very peculiar for me since I have been somewhat stable for the past few years and prior to that, I spent a decade soul searching, guru worshiping and continent hopping. Now armed with suitcases full of knowledge to share with my friends on how to handle instability. I think, rather, I know – that I am an expert at that! But I’ve learned that my knowledge runs deeper; tips on how and where to travel, how to navigate Asia on your own, and how not to get homesick. (Mind you, when and where I was doing most of my traveling, Skype and Facetime weren’t  options.)

Pick your greens! I used spinach and arugula

During a conversation with my dear friend Gabs – one of those in transition – she posed the question I’m often asked: “Leafy” (as she calls me), “how did you handle not knowing where you’d be sleeping next or what you’d be doing next month or where you’d be traveling?”  There’s a scene from the “Accidental Tourist” where Macon (William Hurt) says we should only take the things with us that we’re not attached to, and we should make up our beds in the exact same way every night. Each night, no matter what country, guest house or hotel, I set my bedside table up with the same three little statues, a photo of my grandparents and a little pot of Rosebud Salve. This kept me comforted and I could go anywhere. (Also knowing I had a home in NY that I could go back to at any time helped too.) Gabs loved the idea and said she was going to put a photo by her bed of the broccoli soup I made for her a few years back in London. I laughed but she was serious. Whatever she chooses, I hope it helps her stay grounded through this phase.

This soup has become a staple for me. I always keep some frozen and ready for a quick meal. I also include it on most of the programs I write and it’s in my book, Veggies for Carnivores, as it is incredibly healing and highly nutritious.  Arugula, mache or any dark leafy green that catches your eye can be swapped with the spinach. Go hog wild and toss in asparagus instead of broccoli. Have fun with this one as it is extremely flexible!

crumbled raw goat cheese, the perfect topping for Broccoli Soup.

Broccoli Soup 

1 or 2 large heads of broccoli
1/2 to 1 bag of organic spinach
Soft organic raw goat cheese, crumbled
Chili oil or crushed red chile flakes

Putting it all together:
Bring a large pot of very salty water to a rapid boil
Cut the florets and stems of the broccoli into pieces and put in the water
Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes
*the broccoli should be tender but not too soft.

Drain broccoli but reserve the cooking water

Place broccoli in a blender with about 1/4 of the salty cooking water and purée until smooth and to desired thickness.

Add spinach and blend.

Salt to taste.
Sprinkle with goat cheese and a splash of chili oil or plain olive oil and crushed red chile flakes and serve.

* I prefer to use organic unpasturized raw goat or sheep cheese as it digests better and is, well, it’s  cheese in it’s purest form.  Read anything that Liz Thorpe  writes or speaks about. She is the cheese goddess!

* This is also delicious topped with truffle oil, olives, chopped bell pepper… I could go on and on…


In the comments below, I would LOVE to hear if you have ever had a transitional period and how you handled it – also, what your grounding things would be? Please share!