Gratefulness, love, appreciation and comfort food

There’s something about food, its nourishing power and the energy it provides to the body and the soul. Very few understand the relation food has with life and why it should be appreciated and respected, every time. Honoring food and saying a grateful prayer before meals should be considered part of a spiritual ritual in life. These little details are, in my opinion, part of the daily practice in a vida yoga path.

Then comes love, what moves the earth and the stars like Dante says. Love for oneself, for each other, and for Pachamama Mother Earth. All food comes from her and her nourishment towards her children is essential and beautiful. One must love what one eats, spending time infusing it with healing energy while preparing it and serving it, appreciating every bite and tasting every ingredient one can identify. It’s about appreciating the blessing of having food.

One of my comfort foods is soup. It’s a pleasure of my own because I don’t share this taste for soups with my husband. I like us both to share the same food, so I might not cook soup as much as I would like to. However, cooking soup is a moment where I actually honor myself and affirm how important it is to pamper oneself and make a great effort in cooking something nice for individual use.

My favorite soup since childhood is butternut squash. I have been playing for years adding different ingredients and changing flavors, such as turmeric or ginger, a citrus juice, maybe a carrot. Also, boiling or baking the ingredients. I’ve tried many things, but my last one came out very good and I hope to keep it as a staple. Which is why I’m sharing it so it’s written down somewhere that I can come back to, because I don’t follow recipes and create while I cook and then forget.

I sliced a butternut squash in half and removed the seeds (later cleaned and dried so hopefully they can grow in the garden and provide more butternut squash babies) and placed it in a baking sheet. I also added to the baking sheet two sweet potatoes (very healthy). I baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until soft, checking the oven every 10-15 minutes. Timing here is quite relative because it depends on the size of the squash. Once it all softened enough I turn the oven off and forget about it for an hour or two so it all cools down very well. Then I remove the flesh from the squash and sweet potatoes, tossing the peels with the food scraps. I place the flesh in the blender and slowly start adding water, eyeballing it. Specifically my technique is adding some water and blending quickly to see how thick it is and how smooth it blends, then I stop the blender and add some more. Continuing the process until the desired consistency is reached. Then, I added Himalayan salt and a little of red chili pepper flakes. I then blended on high speed for a long time. It really needs to all blend well together.

The trick is after blending! This actually needs to be brought to a boil in a pot before being ready. It’s amazing how the texture and consistency changed after boiling the final product.

All this process is something to be grateful for, and I certainly am. From when I received the ingredients and brought them home, the time the squash decorated the house before being cooked, the whole cooking process, every time I have been enjoying a cup of this soup, and now for sharing this process in its written form. A whole creativity exercise.

This is my little thing I’m grateful for, love, appreciate, and receive comfort from.

Texture and color achieved after bringing the blended soup to a bowl. Magical alchemy

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