by Amanda Slater, Groundswell member
It’s only been two weeks and I’m already feeling the effects of Groundswell. From the second I said it out loud things started to happen. You know what I mean, it’s like when you say what ever your desire is out loud, the universe starts to provide; otherwise known as the law of attraction. And the universe was quick to provide for me.
Shortly after I had applied and been accepted I was invited to make soup for an event Groundswell was hosting called Vancouver SOUP. A quick side note, I used to have a soup club, and soup is my favorite thing to make and eat! Oh and I pretty much get a high from feeding people.
So there I was, accepted into the program and making soup for Vancouver's first Vancouver SOUP crowdfunding event. I couldn’t have been happier!
Now I should tell you I don’t follow recipes; I make them up as I go. Even when I had my soup club and was making 30-40 liters I was making it up as I went along. My partner would always say to me ‘but babe, how do you know if it’s going to be good’ I just knew, I guess I have a natural instinct (thanks mom!). I always have an idea of what ingredients I’m going to use and the flavors I want but never staying within the lines of a recipe. I love the freedom and creativity making soup gives me, a dash of this, a pinch of that. And why not garnish with ruby chard instead of traditional herbs?
For Vancouver SOUP though I had to submit a recipe, they needed to know how much to buy. This was a challenge and a great learning experience. I decided I was going to make a Moroccan Chickpea & Vegetable soup. I had a rough idea of how much ‘this and that’ I was going to need so I plugged it into the internet to convert it from 6-8 people to 60 people. Sounds easy right? Well all the converter did was multiply it, which I have now learned is not the correct way to increase a recipe. I had enough of some vegetables and way too much of others. But when making soup for 60+people without an actual recipe too much of something is better then not enough. With my mom by my side (she just happened to be visiting from N.S.) I proceeded to whimsically make Moroccan Chickpea & Vegetable soup for what I thought was going to be 60 people but had since found out was 82 people! It’s a good thing I almost always make too much, which is a risk I take not following a recipe.
The soup was dished out and the room filled with "Mmmmm’s" my heart grew large and the adrenalin pumped through me (I wasn’t kidding when I said I get a high from feeding people).
As the night wound down, bowls empty, bellies full I started to settle into my own fullness. I looked around at my community, my tribe, with an overwhelming sense of belonging and excitement. Groundswell’s walls wrapped around me like a warm hug.
Moroccan Chickpea & Vegetable Soup
I encourage you to find freedom and imagination in your cooking. Here’s a loose recipe for you to experiment with ☺
- Canned Chickpeas
- Canned Tomatoes
- Vegetables – any kind you like!
- Spices – smell your spices, imagine the flavors all coming together. Now add a pinch of one and a dash of another!
- Fresh herbs
- Salt & Pepper
- Water or broth
To get started add a splash of oil in your pot. Once it’s heated up add onion and garlic. Cook until tender or translucent. Add your spices be playful and experimental. ☺ It’ll become paste like and fragrant – add your canned tomatoes and let simmer. This is where you’re creating your flavor base for your soup. Go on and taste it. It should be quite strong in flavor, if it’s not then add more. You want it to be quite strong as you’ll be diluting it when you add the rest of your ingredient and water or broth if you’re using broth. Once you’ve got a good flavor base add your chickpeas, maybe another can of tomatoes, your chopped veggies and either water or broth. Let is simmer until the vegetables are tender. Taste as you go, add more spices if you like. ☺ When serving add fresh chopped herbs or greens.
The longer you let it simmer the better the flavor will be, and soup is always better the next day.