Tag Archives: winter

Two Winter Soups: Roasted Squash and Black Bean

Before we begin this beautiful journey together, I would like to fully admit that this is not a foodie blog. But I do get excited about eating. And then I like to share the delicious eats. I’ve discovered however, that unless a food photograph looks good, no one wants to eat it. I cringe at some of my early food photos – and hope they are getting better! The biggest challenge is light. I most often cook around dinner time when the sun is going down…turning into terrible photography light. The pictures often look dull, yellow, or the bulbed lights reflect off the food. Waah!

This year I hope to dive into photography and learn how to photograph all things beautiful. Please be patient with my inadequacies…and I still hope you’ll eat it.

Today I have some great soups to share. Despite my photography, they do taste divine. And I don’t even like squash.

Roasted Squash Soup and Black Bean Soup are Husband’s original creations. Why do we let him leave the kitchen?

Roasted Squash Soup:

Start with 2 squash and 3 yams (or 4 squash). Cut in half, degore, and spray with cooking spray or rub with olive oil.squash Sprinkle Squash with Sea Salt, Pepper, Curry, Cumin, and Tumeric. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for about an hour, until soft and golden. Let cool.DSC_0021Scrape into blender or vitamix until nice and smooth like buttah’…

Put in large pot with 10 Cups Chicken Broth (or 10 cups water and 10 boullion cubes.) Cook until nice and hot.

That’s it. So good. So easy.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch. Cut it in half if you don’t want to feed the masses.

Roasted Squash Soup

Roasted Squash Soup

Add some crusty bread and you’re in business. OR, you could make this:

Black Bean Soup. Let’s start with some beautiful vegetables.DSC_0116 onions

DSC_0118Black Bean Soup:

Saute over medium heat with salt and pepper:

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 Small Onions, chopped

3 stalks Celery, chopped

4 Carrots, chopped

1 Green Pepper, chopped

Another dash of salt and lots of pepper

1 tsp Thyme, 3 large Bay leaves, 1 1/2 tsp Cumin, a pinch of Rosemary

Saute until soft and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes

Pour in 10 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth (boullion fine)

Add 5 Cans Black Beans, Drained

Cook 20-30 minutes to let water reduce. Then add 1 Red Pepper chopped, and 1 Green Pepper chopped. Using an immersion or regular blender, blend to desired thickness.

black bean soup

black bean soup, oh yum

Now for the exciting part. These soups are tremendous on their own, but absolutely delightful when combined: Roasted Squash Soup and Black Bean SoupRoasted Squash Soup and Black Bean Soup

Together, these soups are loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals and have almost zero fat. A great vegetarian option, they warm on a cold winter’s day, are very filling, and give great energy.

The Topping: One scoop greek yogurt, spring of cilantro, and pureed roasted red pepper. Husband bought a $1 squeeze bottles from the $1 store so he could create nice little soup circles. Roasted red pepper puree is easily made with roasted red pepper from a jar.

This combination is delicious, and an absolute favorite.

And I don’t even like squash! Until right now. Enjoy!




4 motivating conversations

This is how I make big decisions: By talking.

Conversation #1:

Me: We should run a spring marathon.

Marathon Glenn: Let’s run the Salt Lake City marathon! Come on, it will be awesome!

I immediately feel a surge of adrenaline, my heart starts to race.

Me: Really? Yes, yes, yes! Mmm. Could be pricey.

Marathon Glenn: I have flight points. I’ll fly you there.

I literally start sweating.

Me: Seriously? You are awesome. We have four months to train, much better than last time.

Marathon Glenn: Totally. You’re gonna qualify this time.

I see myself crossing the finish line, smashing my PR…

I say YES! jump around the room, wondering if husband will be as thrilled as I. That night, dreams of marathon running swirl in my head. Dreams of running at the base of the Rocky Mountains…dreams of qualifying for Boston after the last failed attempt.

I wake up the next morning in a mad sweat. Buyer’s remorse or something like that. Oh no! What have I done???

The Mommy Guilt is strong, young padawans.

What was I thinking? What did I just commit to? I can’t do this! How can I train for four months in the winter in NEW HAMPSHIRE! I still have to pay the entrance fee. I’ll have to leave my children. I might have to hitchhike home! Marathon Glenn already bought my flight there…is it too late to say never mind? I can’t do this…

I text Marathon Glenn in a panic. He tells me he’ll still run if I don’t. He’s already bought the ticket, but can get a refund within the next 12 hours.

The next 12 hours are agonizing. tantrum

Conversation #2

Me: Mom, should I run the Salt Lake City Marathon? (say yes, gosh darn it!)

Mom: That sounds fun…marathons don’t seem very healthy. (I actually told her this years ago. and now she’s using it against me.)

Me: I really want to get to Boston.

Mom: Isn’t that where the bombings were?

Me: Yes

Mom: So it shouldn’t happen again.

Okay, so that’s a plus, right?

Conversation #3

Me: I told Glenn to cancel my ticket

Gregor, shoveling snow off the roof: Why’d you do that?

Me: Because it’s expensive and…I need you to push me to do this, make me do it.

Gregor: I think you need to make the decision for yourself.

Me: But I want you to say you support me 100%.

Gregor: I support you 100%  (a hunk of snow  from the roof falls on my head)

Me: You’re just saying that because I’m making you.

More snow falls on my head

Me: It’s expensive (and I’m scared!) and stop shoveling snow on my head!

Gregor: So write a few more articles. Pay your way!

Me: I’d have to be away a few days this spring.

Gregor: I’m not not coaching. I’m capable. Do it, Mama!

What a guy.

The next day, a freelance check arrives in the mail, covering the entrance fee. I take it as a sign!

A question comes to mind:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

I’d run that marathon.

I tell Glenn not to cancel the flight.

And the four months of training began.

The week after that decision, it’s cold, but not so cold that we can’t run outside. I start logging miles based on the Boston Marathon training plan for beginners. My running buddy gets me through 13 and 14 milers for the long runs. We are feeling groovy. Starting slow and working our way up the mileage chart.

And then, as part of some diabolical plan to ruin my life, the arctic arrived. We have very strong feelings about this, don’t we, boy?DSC_0023

The only thing anyone wants to do is lie down and sleep for the next four months. The birch bark is cold, and peels in protest.



The snow is high…the roads are covered with ice, making it impossible to traverse in mere running shoes.ice

Oh, and let’s talk about the temperature. Tonight it will be a mere -9. Windows are breaking all over America!tenny

I know, boy, I know.

Conversation #4

Me: So, is it sunny in Sunnyvale? (I’m not bitter or anything)

Brother: Yeah, most of the time? How’s the training going?

Me: It’s so cooooold.

Brother: You know, you need to channel your inner Rocky. He trained in Russia in the dead of winter and came out the fittest and most ripped he’s ever been!

I mull over this advice.

Meanwhile, Marathon Glenn texted me the other day. He’s training in Denver where it’s sunny and 50.

Am I jealous? Heck yeah.

Adding to running motivation, running buddy leaves for Florida on Thursday. Makes me feel like spreading applesauce all over my hair.applesauce

Does this count as a conversation?

Me: Cope, I ran 14 miles today. Isn’t that awesome? (my language of love is words. I need lots of reassurance.)

Cope: Yeah. I still think you need professional help.

And there you have it, four conversations to get your through the winter blues.

Originally, this was a post on doing hard things and saying yes when you’re afraid. Even when you hate the treadmill. Like, a lot.

p.s. On a warmer and tastier note….the next two days I have some terrific winter soup recipes to share. See you there!