RECIPE. Mar 29, 2010

Gypsy Vegetable Soup

Spring has been messing with my head. I wake up one morning to sunshine, bird songs, warm air and the slight lift in my step that comes with knowing I won’t have to wear five layers of clothing to stay warm. I hum as I get ready. I’m already making plans for all that I want to do that day, to take advantage of the spectacular weather outside my home. I don’t even finish dressing, before I hear the familiar pelting of rain on the roof and rush of water down the windows. Like a magic act that I was hoping would end with grey clouds vanishing, they multiply instead, becoming darker and more menacing before my mascara has finished drying. The days that stay nice happen to be the very ones where I must get in my car, drive and then stay trapped inside a building until 6pm, never getting one moment to feel the warm, fresh sunshine and smile about the possibilities that feeling creates.

So I’m all mixed up, journeying between excitement and confusion. Wondering when spring will stop being a tease and become summer already. When I will smell fresh cut grass, put on shorts and tank tops without carrying a waterproof jacket under my arm. When the shoes under my feet will flip and flop down the warm concrete while I walk my way to the farmers market. When my dog will run like an absolute maniac towards the waters edge and take a giant leap to splash happily in the water.

For now, I’m a gypsy of the weather. No real home for my feelings. No idea what to wear or how to prepare for each day that shifts faster than the moods of a pregnant woman. I wander about, using my charm and beliefs to enchant the elements of the weather to decide. Begging for the sun to shine for days on end. Pleading to have enough warmth to read books on my freshly mowed lawn and host parties in my back yard.

Until I am able to convince, I stick with dishes for cold weather that bring me some elements of spring. This soup is warm, hearty and requires chopping lots of vegetables. All bright in color and lifts your mood, even on a cold and rainy day.

Chop all vegetables and place in bowls to make process easy. You can chop ahead of time and have a quick dinner later.

In a soup kettle or large saucepan saute onions, garlic, celery, sweet peppers and sweet potatoes in olive oil for about 5 min.

Add seasonings, except tamari, and stir for one minute. Add the stock and tomatoes.

Bring to boil. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or so- until all the vegetables are as tender as you like them. Stir in the tamari/soy sauce at the end.

I usually eat with a slice of bread and cheese.