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.

Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque

This soup is pure love. Love of squash. Love of Fall. Love of whatever you like.

I tend to favor acorn squash for smooth soups over butternut squash for a couple of reasons. One; butternuts always tries to kill me when I'm trying to crack them open and two; acorn squash has a more developed flavor when roasted compared to butternut. Did I mention that the little green guys are a lot easier to work with?

Poor little acorn squashes all forlorn and neglected in favor of trendy butternut or snazzy spaghetti squash. Not 'round these parts. This soup delicately showcases acorn squash in all it's glowing glory. Todd and I ate the entire pot in one night, that is how amazing this soup is. I plan to make it for thanksgiving too, which is a coveted recipe spot!

Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.

A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off. I prefer my soups probably thicker than most, but this can be thinned easily with a bit of additional water.

Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
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Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque
A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off. A delight for Thanksgiving!
Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squashes (about 3-4 lbs. total)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • dash of kosher salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
Instructions
Microwave both whole squashes on high for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice in half lengthwise. Preheat oven to 450 F and coat a baking sheet with a nonstick cooking spray. Scoop out the seeds from the squashes and discard. Place the four squash halves face-side down on the sheet and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, until very tender.Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium low. Add the diced onion and sauté until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Add the fresh herbs and sauté for a few additional minutes. Now, add in the remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the cooked squash and allow to lightly boil for about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the soup to a blender. Blend on high, allowing steam to escape the lid, until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thicken to desired consistency. Serve hot.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.

Dutch Word of The Day

Soup --> Soep  (pronounced the same actually)

Good Deed of The Day

Doctors from Government General Hospital announced at a scientific conference in Vancouver, Canada that they have recently uncovered, "when meat or fish is cooked directly over fire, it gets covered with cancer-causing carcinogens, making it more dangerous than even smoking or consumption of alcohol, surgical gastroenterologist Dr S M Chandramohan said". Yikes! Just one more reason to steer clear of meat, yo. Read more here. Que "The More You Know" chime...

Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze

I received the most beautiful, purple-hued cauliflower from my stepmother the other day. It was gifted from a friend's garden and somehow, lucky for me, found it's way into my little hands. I plucked off a few florets for a soup (the thing was giant!) but kept the remainder safe in the fridge. Pondering what to do with such a special brassica, I knew it had to be the star of a unique dish.

We need to find a way to solve our problems and our differences with other people without hurting our killing them. This should extend to all living creatures as well...there is also a way to find a cure without hurting animals in the process and that is the track that we need to get on.
— Paul Graham of The Las Vegas Informer
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.

Instead, a wicked mac & cheese craving hit and it ended up in a cheesy cauliflower sauce for shell noodles. So, it might not have been the most proper dish to showcase a purple cauliflower...but it was so tasty and satisfying. I guess I'll just have to wait for my next fun-colored veggie to come along!

This dish is slightly adapted from my recipe for mac and cheese made with sweet potato. The cauliflower version is slightly less sweet tasting than the potato one, but still just as creamy and delectable. 

If you follow the recipe as is, there's a lot of sauce. I prefer my mac and cheeze exceptionally saucy so I add it all, but if you prefer, only add half and save the rest for later or just cut the sauce ingredients in half. 

Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.

Isn't she a beaut? 

Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.

I know you're going to love this non-dairy, 100% vegan mac & cheeze. It's a tricksy way to sneak some healthy vegetables into a child's/husband's diet and also on the lighter side of the calorie scale too!

Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.
print recipe
Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze
This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor. Notes: For a very saucy dish, add the entire cheeze sauce or save half for later if you prefer.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dry pasta
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (8-12 oz), florets only
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 cup unsweetened, plain coconut or soymilk
  • heaping ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ Tbsp. liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. mustard (optional)
  • pinch of ground black pepper
Instructions
In a large saucepan, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add and cook according to package, then drain. Break apart the cauliflower florets and steam for no more than 10 minutes, until just tender, in an electric or stovetop steamer. Transfer the florets to a blender.Add the remaining ingredients to the blender as well and blend on high for several minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add half or the entire amount of the sauce to the pasta and stir well to combine. Serve hot.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6
Produce On Parade - Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze - This lightened vegan mac and cheeze made with cauliflower is creamy and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor.

German Word of The Day

Cauliflower --> Blumenkohl (bloomen-coal) - Blumen means flowers and Kohl means cabbage!

Good Deed of The Day

No doubt you've seen the ALS challenges your friends and family have posted online. Have you thought about what it would mean with regards to animal rights? If not, read this article It's very thought-provoking and it's information we all need to know.