This time last year I was working on converting my van into a camper at my fab friend, Margaret’s, house. We’d already been eating our way through the vegan mince pie stock from the Sainsbury’s Local nearby since October. I love Christmas food! It’s one of the few things about Christmas I love. My favourite food is a yummy vegan nut roast with all the trimmings. This year we’ve been boycotting Sainsbury’s mince pies because they use palm oil but I still need my early Christmas food fix.
Trusting the creative process
A few weeks ago I was planning a food shopping trip, feeling bored. Then it occurred to me… Christmas Soup! Yes! I wanted all the flavours of my speciality nut roast in my soup. I wasn’t sure how I would capture the stuffing flavour without actually making it first but I left it as an open question and trotted off to the shop. After collecting potatoes, parsnip, onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cashews and pureed chestnuts, I stood in front of the myriad stuffing mixes and pondered.
Intuitive and mindful cooking
It occurred to me to use herbs! I was already using onion, so I just needed to add sage, and maybe some rosemary.After picking up the herbs, an image of big, juicy cranberries popped into my head and I wandered to the frozen section to find some. I did wonder whether they’d be too bitter, but I decided to trust my intuition and buy them.
I had so much fun making this soup; I had no idea whether it would work so it felt similar to making stuff for my van. I lost myself in the process of chopping and cooking; it’s quite meditative listening to the sounds of the knife and feeling the different textures of the vegetables. The smells were amazing and it tasted divine! It’s such a colourful soup too – all my senses were satisfied in making it. I was so happy that I just had to share it. So, here it is: my Christmas Soup recipe.
Christmas Soup Recipe
1 knob of Flora 100% Plant Goodness margarine
1 Large onion
1 bag pureed chestnuts
1 Baking potato
1 bag of Brussels sprouts
1 bag of Carrots
Onion gravy granules
Half a bag of Frozen peas
Half a bag of Frozen cranberries
Mint sauce to taste
Black pepper to taste
Chop onions and fry them in the margarine for about ten minutes until they’re soft and starting to brown.
Chop the rest of the veggies whilst the onions are cooking. Quarter the sprouts, cube the parsnips and potato, and chop the carrots into discs.
Add the pureed chestnuts and the cashews and stir them into the onions.
Add sage and rosemary – I kept sprinkling it until it smelled like it was enough – and stir for a minute or so. Perhaps a couple of teaspoons of each.
Add hot water and a cup of thick onion gravy (follow the directions on the packet).
Add all the veggies, except the frozen peas, making sure the veggies are just covered with the liquid (add more water if necessary).
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about fifteen minutes.
Add the peas and cranberries and simmer for another five to ten minutes.
Serve with a teaspoon of mint sauce and add black pepper to taste. Yummy!
I hope you get as much enjoyment from this recipe as I did. It was tricky remembering how much of everything I’d used to put in the recipe. You really don’t have to follow it to the letter. In fact, it’s probably better if you experiment. I experimented with the recipe the following week by adding mushrooms and taking away cashews. It was fab. There’s a lot of room for experimentation with this recipe.
I found exactly what I needed to make this soup when I listened to my intuition and dived into the creative process, without knowing what would come of it. There was a sense of trust in the process without attachment to result. In this way, it’s a bit like the coaching process. What is it like for you to experience this kind of trust?