I think food has magical properties. It has the power to bring people together. Food is used to celebrate special occasions and sooth people during times of sadness. My mom taught me this. Most of my childhood memories can be linked to food. My mom cooked and baked a lot. She was the mom who baked homemade treats. I’m sure my childhood friends remember all the treats she made! I remember my mom making special decorated cookies for my grade 6 class- everyone got a beautifully decorated heart shaped cookie with their name on it. She was aIways in the kitchen trying something new. My mom hosted many people at our dining table- she loved sharing food. I remember her making special cakes for weddings, birthdays and new babies and plates of sandwiches and casseroles when someone died. Food is beautifully versatile. She still loves sharing food, especially with her grandchildren.
Food can help create a sense of community- there is something about the power of breaking bread and sharing it with your neighbour. I love feeding people. I think I got that quality from my mom. I just love sharing a new recipe I’ve tried with my friends, co-workers, people at my gym and especially my family (that’s probably where the idea for this blog came from- my love of sharing food with others). Last week, two other teachers and I made pretzels with our classes. We baked the pretzels after school in the staff room. Pretzels smell good! I have never seen so many people in the staff room after school- I guess people were drawn to the wonderful smell.
At work, we have a “Soup Club”. We take turns bringing in homemade soup every Friday. I was very hesitant to join the club since I used to be very rigid about what I ate- I have since relaxed my eating rules a little bit and boy am I ever glad- I have loved being a part of these Friday shared meals. Sitting around the staff room tables laughing and eating soup is a great way to end the work week. I’ve had two favourite weeks during Soup Club. The first one was my own soup day- I was really excited to share one of my favourite soups. I made this yummy Creamy Red Lentil and Kale Soup. It was a hit!
My other favourite soup day was my friend Vishakha’s Soup day! She made this amazing Indian Chickpea Soup. I’ve tried to replicate her recipe but it’s not exactly right but her soup was so good that if mine is literally half as good as hers then it is amazing! Here’s what I did:
A few- whole cloves, peppercorns, 1 whole red chili, whole cardamoms, and a cinnamon stick
Dry roast the spices until fragrant, then cut up into smaller pieces and grind in a coffee grinder. Set aside.
This is where I cheated- Vishakha used dried chickpeas which she soaked overnight. This is what I did instead-
2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 cup water
1 chopped onion
1 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp Chili powder
Put the chickpeas and the water, ginger, garlic and chili powder in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover until the chickpeas and onions are soft.
1 onion, grated
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
Water, about 4 cups
In a frying pan, heat oil and add the onion. Once soft, add the sugar to help the onion caramelize. Add the spices you toasted and ground earlier and the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes soften, add to the chickpeas. Add water (I used 4 cups) until it has a soupy consistency. Let boil for 10 minutes, until chickpeas are soft but not mushy. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander. For a special treat, serve the soup with homemade Naan bread.
So yummy and healthy! Make a pit of soup and share it with your friends!
Choose happy 😄