Soup-making may conjure up an image of huge pots containing hundreds of ingredients simmering all day long, but that need not be the case. A batch of soup can be made in the same amount of time it takes to make many other dinner dishes, and is among the most satisfying of kitchen tasks. Making soup in many instances, is also not precise, which make the process easy and fun. It’s Sunday – great day for a nice chat over bowls of heart-warming soup. Let’s talk “asshole mom moves.”
I had to learn from a young age to be responsible for my household and my 3 siblings (one older brother and 2 younger sisters). My parents divorced; my dad left for America to pursue his passion for singing conscious reggae music, and dreams to be the next Bob Marley. I took care of braiding my sisters’ hair. I got everyone ready for school. One day when my sisters gave me a hard time getting ready for school I grabbed the belt and whooped them for the first, and last time. Getting whopped was the norm in my Jamaican household at the time. The worst is when you had to go pick out your own belt. When it came time for me to get whooped, you’d have to catch me first though – I was that kid – I’m running no matter what the command! Anyway, the day I whopped my sisters, I was not yet even 12 years old.
Fast forward to age 12. At the age of 12 I cooked my first meal after my mom took ill. That’s also the year I migrated to Canada from sweet Jamaica. Eight years later I became an unconventional young mom, all the while thinking that I’ll conquer the world. I never whooped my daughters to teach them a lesson, they’re just so cute and loving. Plus hitting a child, or being hit as a child in the name of discipline, is not an action I appreciated growing up. I prefer an open dialogue with my daughters. A dialogue so open that they’ve now recounted to me some of the “funniest” and most outrageous “asshole mom moves” I’ve pulled in the name of discipline. We had a good chuckle.
“Packing it all away might seem a bit extreme, but it was my soup for the soul.”
I like a super clean kitchen! When you have young children however, having zero dishes in the sink at all times is not possible. As they get older, you teach them more about cleanliness and cleaning up after themselves. As my girls got older, we had a “wash what you use rule” but this wasn’t working out as planned. Excuses received for leaving dirty dishes in the sink on a regular basis were: homework; extra-curricular activities; work and “I sprained my finger.” They were also fully aware that Mommy would eventually wash the dishes anyway. So this is exactly what I did. I went to the dollar store, picked out one plastic plate, one bowl, one cup, and one mug in the colour blue. Then I picked out another set of these same items in yellow, purple and pink. I visited another store and bought colour coded cutlery to match each set. I went home, washed and dried all the dishes in the sink and proceeded to pack away every single piece of dinnerware and cutlery from the cupboards. With the exception of a few serving spoons, I placed it all into plastic totes and boxes and then placed them in our storage closet. Later on, I extended my daughters the courtesy of picking the colour plastic-ware they’d like to receive. They thought it was hilarious, but they also knew that now they had very few excuses to not keep their one and only plate clean. Packing it all away might seem a bit extreme, but it was my soup for the soul. Soup-making is among the most satisfying of kitchen tasks after all.
Creamy Jamaican Pumpkin (or Squash) & Carrot Soup
Inspired by fall's bounty.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 cups pumpkins, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 cup sweet potato, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, onion and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and ginger, reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Add in the coconut milk and green onion.
- Puree the soup using a blender.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with finely sliced green onion, fresh thyme leaves or chopped nuts (optional).
Preparing Foods for Soup
It doesn’t matter much how you cut vegetables if you plan to puree them to thicken soup. However, uniform cutting will allow the foods to cook evenly. Cut vegetables about the same size so they’ll finish cooking at the same time.