Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup + My Alaska Earthquake Story

This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

I’m not sure if you may heard the front page news, but on Friday Alaska had one of it’s biggest and most destructive Earthquakes to date. I posted some photos of our house and a couple of the collapsed overpasses and roads on my social media sites, which you can see here.

I’ll try to keep my story short.

I was at work when it hit. It was 8:30 in the morning and I had just settling in, drinking my coffee and looking over our patients and schedule for the day. When our building began to shake I sat for a second or two assessing how severe this was going to be. We get a lot of earthquakes in Alaska and most of them are minor. However, when the earth continued to shake I fell under my desk. The shaking became so violent, more than I’d ever felt, and all I could think about was Oliver and Todd at home. “Are they safe, are they safe, are they safe,” was all that rushed through my mind.

Finally, the shaking stopped after what felt like forever but turned out to only be a couple minutes (which is actually an etinerity when you’re in a massive earthquake). We ended up evacuating our clinic and I raced home. There were ambulances everywhere and the roads were packed. None of the roads I had to travel on were damaged but the photo below is ten minutes from my work.

Photo by Marc Lester

Photo by Marc Lester

Todd and Oliver made it through unscathed (well, except for Todd’s left foot). Oliver was standing on his stool pictured below when it started. Todd grabbed him and they huddled under our dining room table until the shaking stopped. When I got home we proceeded to clean up A TON of broken glass and dishes over the weekend. Lots of large, custom framed art pieces I did broke. Several potted plants took a hit. Items flew off of shelves and Oliver’s room looked like a herd of dinosaurs stomped through, with lamps and monitors swinging off the desk. Everything on any table or desk fell to the floor. Several pieces of our siding cracked and there are a couple cracks in our interior walls but no serious damage. There’s a huge gouge in the earth in our front lawn that I literally stuck my ENTIRE hand in! It was crazy that the shaking actually opened up our childproof cabinets!

Oliver walked around most of the day pointing sadly at everything and telling us, “Broke, broke, broke..”. The aftershocks have been keeping everyone on pins and needles as we continue to experience very large quakes. Everytime one comes rumbling to life Oliver shakes his head pleading, “No, no, no…” It’s heartbreaking seeing him in so much fright.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

We are so thankful no friends or family were hurt and nothing of super valuable or sentimental broke. Our family is definitely shaken though and I’m compelled to hold my babies a little tighter. There are many families who lost their homes and important objects. Several roads literally just fell into the earth. The highway to Anchorage and our international airport have both opened back up and we are all on our way to getting back to our lives.

In the aftermath, I’ve learned to slow down and truly cherish the little moments. Also, to keep a few gallons of water handy in the pantry. In addition, command strips are not earthquake proof. Our art will now be re-installed with nails… #liveandlearn

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup


Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup
By
This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 small/medium zucchinis, diced
  • 1 medium bunch of broccoli; florets only, chopped
  • 16 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt or table salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • dash of white pepper (black pepper will work)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, dry-saute the onions and garlic until they become fragrant and soften. Add the sweet potato and saute an additional 5 minutes while preparing the rest of the soup.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. Serve hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 4
Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Spiced Rhubarb Bread

This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers.  Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.

Spiced Rhubarb Bread - Produce On Parade - This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers.  Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.

I really love rhubarb. I know it's not super popular with everyone. However, it's ubiquitous up here in Alaska; almost every house has a giant, lumbering rhubarb plant (or two, or three) loitering outside like sentinels. In the spring, our local paper ran an a story about the blushing stalks; that even though many houses have rhubarb plants, most are inherited when the house was bought. That rhubarb, nowadays, is on the out! It's tart, it's banal, and it's just not that tasty.

To me, that's blasphemous. I adore rhubarb. I love how hardy and stubborn it is; how it'll grow anywhere and be the first plant the shine it's smiling face, welcoming in spring. I love it's giant leaves and remembering my Grandma Nancy showing me how to wear one as a hat when I was a little girl. I love it's sour and pungent aroma, and how it's flavor it makes my lips pucker with delight. I love that it can be savory or sweet and how it's wonderful in pretty much everything from muffins to stewed, on top of ice cream. It's versatile and resilient. Just like Alaskans.

I am lucky enough to have a unique Russian variety, whose leaves are shaped slightly different than the common variety. This makes me feel especially domestic, in a homesteady type of way. It's silly and frivolous, but it makes me happy in a small and odd way. 

Spiced Rhubarb Bread - Produce On Parade - This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers.  Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.

Spiced Rhubarb Bread

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Published 07/03/2017

This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers. Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened, plain soymilk
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar, divided
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium very ripe banana
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp chai spice or pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and coat two 9x5 inch loaf pans with a nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soymilk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract; let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of brown sugar, olive oil, and the banana until very smooth. Whisk in the soymilk mixture.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and chai spice. Stir in the rhubarb until coated. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Divide batter between both the loaf pans. (Can be made into 16 muffins, reduce baking time to about 25 minutes)
  5. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave, about 10 seconds. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle/scoop the mixture evenly on the top of each loaf.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, until slightly browned on top and springs back when gently poked. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack before serving.

Yield: 2 loaves / 16 servings

Spiced Rhubarb Bread - Produce On Parade - This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers.  Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.
Spiced Rhubarb Bread - Produce On Parade - This lightly scented rhubarb bread is a wonderful alternative to rhubarb pie or crisp. It’s absolutely divine for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday treat, or topped with vegan vanilla ice cream for a scrummy dessert. However you have it, this sweet and tart dessert bread is incredibly easy and sure to please even rhubarb snubbers.  Made with olive oil and banana, it’s a little healthier than other recipes as well.

Anouk loves rhubarb almost as much as Todd and I :)

Produce On Parade

An Alaskan Adventure - Cabin Edition

Last weekend we had quite the adventure out to the cabin. It's a two and a half hour drive from our house to where we park our cars, then a 13 mile snowmachine ride in. We took two dogs, in the "buddy box" my dad made to haul their aging dog, Buddy. Bailey and Buddy snuggled close on the bumpy ride! 

The mountain you see is Denali (Mount McKinley), part of the Alaska Range, the highest mountain peak in North America!

There was sauning, northern lights, and fresh water from the mountain spring. What more could you ask for? To see more of this adventure check out Produce On Parade on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter

Photo credit to my loving husband, Todd.