I made the most perfect meal last week. It was rich and creamy, a little sweet, a little savory. So robust, each sip hit every single craving spot – from tongue to tummy.
But my favorite part about this dish is that I made it with absolutely no recipe.
On the train ride home from work, I had this mad craving for something soothing and comforting. I knew there wasn’t much in my refrigerator but leftover bone broth and a few odds and ends.
As soon as I walked in my apartment and opened the refrigerator door, it became clear: I would make soup.
It didn’t matter that it was May 26th and nice enough outside for light jackets and open-toed shoes. After a stressful day in freezing cold air-conditioned office, the very best thing for me would be soup.
And the ingredients to that soup would not come from a Pin, a cookbook or a blog. It would simply be determined by my cravings. I start to pull out leftovers from the shelves and scrape the bottom of the produce drawer…
Carrots. Sweet potatoes. Pumpkin. Turmeric.
Everything was turning up orange. The color of comfort in my book. Reminds me of fall candles, the summer sun and warm ooey gooeyness.
I got to work. I turned on Boys II Men (don't judge). And I didn't think too much.
I roasted the carrots so they could match the texture of the already roasted soft sweet potatoes. I found half an onion, chopped it up, and sautéed it in ghee on the bottom of my big silver soup pot. I sliced and diced up my turmeric root, tossed it in with the onions, and not soon after added the broth. As soon as the carrots were starting to soften, I swept them in the bowl too, along with their orange sweet potato counterpart.
Stir the pot. Set to simmer. And a look through the spice cabinet for any last minute additions. Paprika for smoke, cayenne for spice. A little hot red to add to the orange. And last but not least, a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
And for the big finish. I removed the pan from the burner. Sat it on an upside-down plate. And waited impatiently for it to cool. As good as it would be just as it was. I knew nothing could beat the taste of blending every ingredient together to create one big, complex, hearty soup.
So as soon as I deemed it ready, I carefully poured it in my food processor and pulverized it till the colors turned one bright sunset-orange. The end result? The just-enough-spice, more-than-enough layers of smooth and creamy, richest, fullest soup I have ever, ever had.
Now I’m not naïve enough to think that this soup was an “It’s so easy” dish. I hate when people tell me that and it’s so obviously time-consuming or complicated. And I don't say this to toot my own horn and declare my awesomenss in the kitchen. It was just that, in the midst of all this slicing and dicing, sautéing and roasting, I realized that this effortless cooking dance was only the result of years of practice. A culmination of reading recipe after recipe, Googling, pinning, researching, watching, asking, and prepping my kitchen with “odds and ends” that I’m guessing most people don’t have (turmeric root, anyone? Anyone?).
This soup never would have been easy or enjoyable for me to make 3 years, 2 years or even 1 year ago. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t revel in every single moment of it on that sunny, nice-enough-outside 26th of May.
Because that’s the day, I realized I can really cook.
Wherever you are in your cooking journey, I beg you to try your version of my comfort soup. Drop the recipe book, put down your Pinterest and just cook. You never know. You just might surprise yourself.
Orange Comfort Soup
I give you this recipe as a jumping off point. But I strongly encourage you to replace the ingredients with whatever you have in your refrigerator and suit it to your own tastes. That's the beauty of soup. Chop it up, roast it up, toss it in, pulverize it and cross your fingers. Yes, it could be complete crap. Or it could be delicious…
- 3 Carrots
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 already roasted sweet potato
- Turmeric root
- 1 tablespoon pureed pumpkin
- 3 cups of bone broth
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Dice up carrots into approximately 1 inch pieces.
- Drizzle or roll in coconut oil.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Note: If you're sweet potatoes aren't already roasted, you'll want to do start them first because they will take the longest (approximately 45 minutes).
- Saute chopped onion in ghee for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions just begin to become translucent.
- Toss in sliced turmeric and saute another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in bone broth and stir.
- Add roasted sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper.
- Let it simmer for 5-10 mintues.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Pour soup into a food processor and pulverize until smooth and creamy.
- Enjoy every spoonful because you deserve it.
I want to hear from you guys! Have you seen yourselves grow in the kitchen? Or at least had that moment where everything came together perfectly? Does anybody else feel liberated by going recipe-less? Comment below!