Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu
I came across this quote the other day and absolutely love it. I think (and hope) it’s pretty obvious through my blog name, and more importantly, by the content, that I try to live a simple life.
What that looks like though, is not always clear. There are many ways one can try to live simply. For one person, living simply may mean owning less material items. For another, it may mean “unplugging” from the online world for a while. And for others, to live simply may be to simply bask in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset with the ones you love, or in solitude.
I love having a blog because it means that I don’t need to define this for myself in one post or one day. As I change and grow, so does my perspective on living a simple life. Some days, I try to reflect this in the foods I eat. Joining a CSA and basing our meals on local and seasonal produce is one way I try to live simpler. Other days, I hope to do this by sharing some of the simple things my husband and I do together to try and live a simple life together.
There many ways I’d like to simplify even more, although this isn’t always easy. Especially in our society, it’s often easier to focus on what others have and we don’t, rather than what is sitting right in front of us. However, I often find that the fewer items I have, the more I tend to actually enjoy them. And I definitely prefer to spend my precious time focused on what I do have rather than on what I don’t.
All that to say, this soup makes me appreciate the simple things even more. It’s amazing what can happen when combining a few fresh vegetables, flour and some herbs. There’s nothing fancy about this, and yet, it’s one of those meals that makes me want to savor every moment of fall.
Vegetable Dumpling Soup
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
For the Soup
- 2-3 tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Thyme, to taste
- Oregano, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
For the Dumplings
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbs. cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbs. butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup corn (I used frozen)
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, potato, celery and carrots and cook 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add bay leaves, broth and seasonings. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
2. While soup is simmering, prepare the dumplings. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter and mix until butter pieces are about the size of peas. Add milk and corn and stir just until mixed together.
3. Return the soup to a boil Drop dumplings into soup by rounded tablespoons. Cover, reduce heat and cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes (do not boil). Serve and enjoy!
~How do you try to live simply?