We all deal with life’s difficult chapters in our own ways and there is no easy fix for some (actually most) of these situations.

Recently, when faced with a family member’s illness, I felt overwhelmed and helpless.  What could I do?  How could I try to ease the stress of others and make them feel better? My only guide was how I was raised. One rule always rang true in our home: food can nourish and it can help heal. I knew that I could not just magically make the situation better, but what I could do was use my resources and recipes to be sure that basic needs were met.

I thought back to all the wonderful recipes my mother cooked for me when I was sick.  The memories themselves immediately filled me with a sense of strength, like a giant hug to lend support.  And lucky for me I have a mother I can call on for additional support (and her recipe for zucchini soup!).  With my grocery list in tow I filled my cart with ingredients for several dishes and I cooked and cooked and cooked some more.

I can assure you we have a long road ahead but for the time being, keeping busy, keeping positive and keeping warm meals on the table is my way to show my love and support. Sometimes that is the best medicine.  So I say, the next time life give you lemons, make soup!

Mom’s Nourishing Zucchini Soup
Serves 6

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds zucchini, cut in ½-inch slices
1 (10-ounce) can beef consume
2 ⅓ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil
⅛ teaspoon pepper
Grated Parmesan

Brown the bacon in a large pan.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. 

Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cheese.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the zucchini is tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender or place the soup, 2 cups at a time, in blender, cover, and blend at high speed until pureed.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve hot.


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