November: An invitation for Gratitude and Soup
November: An invitation for Gratitude and Soup
November often becomes a collective invitation to focus on gratitude. While this can feel cliche, like another day or week or month to capitalize on a particular product or idea, I cannot help but delve into this one wholeheartedly in the hopes that through practice, everyday, every single moment becomes infused with gratitude.
The month begins with Dia De Las Muertos, a traditional celebration in Mexico honoring the ancestors who have come before, who have been our guides and teachers, offering their gifts and wisdom; and to their spirits who continue to guide and support. The season invites us to remember that we are not in this alone and that we do not live and act for our benefit alone. Our own gifts, talents and strengths arise from the gifts and lives of those who came before. The infinite capacity for truth and wisdom has been tapped in to throughout time, by truth seekers and wisdom bearers in all ages. This is a time to give thanks for all we have been given, even before our own existence.
It is a time of the final harvest, of the Fall hunt, of an abundance before the scarcity of winter. A time to celebrate the growth and gifts of the Spring and Summer and to store and prepare for a cooler season. It is a time for reflection on the rhythms of the earth. Even the very smell of Fall brings us into a deep connection with earth; musky, rich, and pungent.
The leaves fall off the trees this time of year, the snow falls in the northern climates and the mountain tops, a transition to dormancy, a time of death for the annual plants, a time of hibernation or rest for the plants and animals that will regain activity in the Spring. It is a time to reflect and be present with our own deep and precious mortality. With our own beginnings and endings. This presence invites the deepest gratitude, for life itself. For each perfect, present moment. We are reminded that we too will one day join the spirit realm, our transition complete. Chani Nichols writes: “May this season remind us of that inevitability so that we may be better accomplices to this moment. So that we might be more encouraged to use the magic of love. So that we might explore the possibility of living as though this day was the most important of our lives. Connected to all life before it. And all life after it.”
Tapping in to a daily gratitude practice allows for a remembering of our true essence. It is a portal into our very life force, into soul. It is heart healing. It is heart opening. It allows for connection, for wisdom, for joy, for presence, for wonder, for awe. Gratitude may be one of our most effective daily practices for well-being. Gratitude is a deep felt sense. We may begin practicing with simply the statements of “I am grateful for… ” And then, beautifully and subtly, we are invited into something below the words. A felt sense of gratitude. A felt sense of our connection to all that is and to our own delightful uniqueness, our ability to notice beauty, to notice other, to rejoice in diversity and to also know and remember Oneness. Words do not fully express this process. They simply point to the possibility. Only through our own practice and gentle surrender to the possibility, may we know the deep power of gratitude.
I invite you this month into a daily gratitude practice. To wake each morning and in the moments before you begin any other activity, feel the invitation for gratitude. Write 10 things you are grateful for and if you have time, let this settle into a palpable, cellular experience. Then, rise and begin your day. I would love to hear how this practice affects you, what you notice, what you feel. I will be joining you in the practice and will post one thing I am grateful for on Facebook each day.
Today, I am grateful for warm, grounding, immune supportive soup. Cooking, chopping, smelling the fresh ingredients, creating, experiencing the nourishment as I return from a vacation and settle back into the routines of daily life. I am grateful for the knowledge of what my body and mind need, for the access to fresh and abundant foods, for the time to cook and prepare food for myself, for the flavors that dance in my mouth, for the ease of digestion and sense of care and love for myself. And, I am grateful that I can share this simple meal with each of you in this time of reflections.
With abundant blessings,
A beautiful blend of earthy mushrooms, rich in vitamins and minerals, with a pureed broth of potato, leek and celery. Dill adds a brightness to the mix.
Morel soups often call for heavy cream. I increased the potatoes and found that after blending, the soup was “creamy” all on its own. But, feel free to add cream or coconut milk in the last few minutes of cooking if you desire a richer soup.
~1 large leek, thinly sliced all the way to the green leaves
~3-4 cups quartered baby potatoes, with skins on.
~2 cups celery chopped
~1/2 onion, roughly chopped
~4 cloves garlic, diced
~2 cups chopped morels (fresh or dried and rehydrated)
~3 Tbsp butter
~1 cup dry white wine
~1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
~3 cups water
~Fresh dill – 1/4 cup chopped
~Salt and Pepper to taste
~Prep your veggies.
~In a soup pot, add water, leeks, potatoes and celery. Sprinkle with salt.
~Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes and leeks are soft.
~Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan and add the onions and garlic.
~Cook on medium until soft, gently translucent.
~Add the mushrooms.
~Continue to cook on medium, adding a splash or two of white wine as needed during cooking to keep the mushrooms from drying out.
~Sprinkle with salt.
~Cook for approximately 15 minutes.
~When soft, add the rest of the wine and gently increase heat, cooking the liquid down until almost gone.
~Add chicken broth and stir well.
~When the potatoes and leeks are soft, blend them until smooth.
~Return the now blended potato/leek blend to the soup pot and add the mushrooms in their broth. Stir well. ~Continue to cook gently over medium heat.
~Add dill. Stir.
~Add salt and pepper to taste.
~Serve warm with a garnish of dill.