We just booked our tickets to the States for Christmas, and are crossing our fingers, hoping for snow. The first year I took Alex to Bend for Christmas, we had TONS of snow. On Christmas Eve, I sent him up to Mt. Bachelor for a ski lesson (growing up in the Southern Hemisphere, he had never seen a white Christmas!), and it was snowing so hard, he couldn’t see the road. After a few hours of skiing, my little Honda was so covered in snow, he had to enlist newly made friends in the ski lodge to help him dig the car out to leave.
We spent our holiday going for runs in freshly fallen, unmarked snow, snowshoeing, and warming up by the fires in the local breweries. My man, who has always shied away from the snow, chasing the sun, as I do, fell in love with winter.
Then, last year ended up being the warmest Christmas in Bend, Oregon had seen in 20 years. It was sunny, 40-50 degrees f, and we found ourselves hiking in short sleeves. We went hiking in places I’ve never seen in the winter, because usually the roads are too buried in snow. The photo below is of our hike to the top of Black Butte — no snow, even on top!
We prayed for snow our whole trip, but it just wasn’t happening. The day we landed back in Kuala Lumpur, called my mom to tell her we’d made it, and I am sure you can guess what had happened in Bend while we were crossing the Pacific — covered in snow.
Sigh. To make sure our plane ticket money wasn’t a total waste, we made up for the lack of snow with extra micro brews by the fire at the local brewery. Bend has 14 microbreweries- in a town of merely 80,000 people. Snow or not, Bend rocks.
We made sure to purchase one of these posters to frame for our condo in Malaysia.
But this year, we want snow. Lots of it. We want my mom’s house buried in snow, like the year my brother and I had to get up on the roof to shovel the snow to make sure the roof didn’t collapse from the weight. The year school kept getting canceled, and we amused ourselves by building igloos in the front yard and eating snow ice cream for breakfast (anyone else? a bowl of snow, with milk, sugar and vanilla? NO?!)
So here’s our prayer for **snow**. #PracticingGratitude. Bend, Oregon is amazing, and I am so lucky it’s the place I get to call home.
You know what you need a lot of when it snows? Yep, soup. And all good soups start with wonderful veggies.
I’ve made this soup for many years. The touch of ginger adds a ton of flavor to an otherwise mellow and creamy base. The original recipe (that I got in a Soup cookbook from Barnes and Noble years ago, and don’t have anymore) called for a cup of milk. I used to add about 1/2 cup, but since I don’t process dairy well, I mostly just leave it out. Add milk or coconut milk, if you’d like some extra richness!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 onions (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 6 cups water + 2½ tablespoons vegetable bouillon (or 6 cups vegetable broth)
- 2 parsnips
- 1 turnip (peeled)
- 1 large potato (peeled)
- 1 carrot (or 2 small carrots, peeled)
- ⅓ cup finely grated ginger root
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dried dill)
- 1 cup milk or ½ cup coconut milk (optional)
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- creme fraiche (to garnish, optional)
- In a soup pot, add olive oil, onions, and garlic. Over medium heat, saute until onions are translucent.
- Add water and vegetable bouillon or broth, and bring to a boil.
- Peel and chop the remaining vegetables. Add to the boiling broth.
- Continue to boil over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove soup from heat, and add the ginger root and dill.
- In batches, process the soup and vegetables in a blender (or immersion blender) until soup is very creamy.
- Add milk or coconut milk, if desired. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Garnish with creme fraiche and extra dill, if desired.
Other Soul Warming Soups: (on my Soups On! Pinterest board — if you’re interested in more inspiration!)
- Maryland Clam Chowder, by Three Beans on a String (perfect winter meal)
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup, by iFoodReal (so simple, and so tasty!)
- Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan, by Creme de la Crumb (this is so getting made next week)
- Comforting Broccoli Leek Soup, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Chicken Enchilada Soup, by Vitamin Sunshine