You ever have one of those stretches of days when you feel like you’re having one accident after another? Maybe it’s just my klutzy self, but that was me this past weekend. While it was an overall amazing couple of days filled with a 3-day conference for coaches (health, life, business, spiritual, you name it) and quality time with friends, I also ended it with some possibly permanent scars. First from burning my hand in the oven while making toast and then, in one of my craziest accidents ever, the top shelf in my kitchen cabinet collapsed, causing my collection of Pyrex and ceramic bakeware to come crashing down on me. Besides being left with a million (literally) shards of glass to clean up, I got some cuts on my legs and feet, with one pretty decent one on my inner ankle bone that brought me to Urgent Care.
While I’m bummed about my dishware since I had some vintage Pyrex gems in there, it’s also one of those times that helps me to reflect and practice gratitude. When I go back to the moment I was standing bare legged and barefoot in a skirt, surrounded on and around me by all that glass (in an honest state of shock), I can’t help but think how it could have ended up so much worse. The stuff in my cabinets is replaceable and, even though I am already having withdrawal not being able to work out for a few days while I heal, my injuries are pretty minor given the circumstances. The doctor felt that Dermabond (aka skin glue) should work just as well as a couple stitches, so I went that route. I told him my concern was less about a little scarring and more about getting back to my activities without limited function.
I sort of have this love/hate relationship with scars. Of course we all dislike them because they are thought of as imperfections and reminders of bad experiences. But they are also what makes each of us unique. No two people have the same set of scars. And rather than solely bringing back difficult memories, they are also symbols of our survival from those experiences. They are like pin markers on a map, part of our journey and the story of who we are.
Speaking of my personal journey, I’ve been so happy with my decision to find a way out of my last apartment a few months ago. You don’t truly realize how important a comfortable living situation is to your physical and emotional wellbeing until you’ve had one that is not. I’m loving my new place and neighborhood (Woodside, Queens), slowly checking out the local haunts. I already have three regular markets I hit up – one organic, one Korean and one European – all within easy walking distance. I’ve also become a fast fan of a Tibetan restaurant about 2 blocks from my place and a Korean spot about 12 blocks away. There’s a cute little wine bar that I went to on a recent Saturday afternoon with a friend. Along with a tasty spicy cocktail, I tried out their Tomato and White Bean Soup with Arugula and Poached Egg. It was so delicious that I all I could think while devouring it was how I couldn’t wait to try and make it myself.
I always love the idea of soups as meals, but they are often not filling or balanced enough to do the trick. Tomato soup itself is delicious and nutritious, rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, biotin, potassium, copper, manganese, fiber, lycopene and many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In other words, it’s good for your heart, bones and immune system, among other things. The addition of beans and egg adds fiber and protein, making this soup a balanced meal and true main course. It’s also super easy to make so you can have what feels like a gourmet meal on weeknight.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- Kosher or coarse sea salt
- 2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
- 2.5 15-ounce cans cannellini (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup light coconut milk (make sure to shake a couple times before pouring)
- 1 tsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, plucked off stems
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 eggs
- Arugula, to garnish
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, broth, coconut water, herbs, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes.
- Purée the soup until smooth either by transferring in batches to a blender or using a hand immersion blender. Leave about 1 cup of the bean, tomatoes, etc. unpuréed to give some added texture to the soup. Return to the pot, season with salt and then cover to keep warm.
- Serve in bowls topped with a poached egg and handful of arugula.
- Bring a medium pot or saucepan of water to a boil and then lower heat until water is just barely bubbling.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl and then slowly pour it into the water. With a wooden spoon or spatula, lightly swirl the water for 10 seconds until the egg begins to set.
- Pour in each of the remaining eggs in a similar fashion, swirling occasionally until the whites are set but the yolks are soft, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately or transfer to a bowl of cold water and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Allow the soup to cool for about 5 minutes before using a handheld immersion blender or transferring to a standing blender. Fill the canister only halfway for each batch, starting at a low speed and slowly increasing or pulsing until smooth, depending on your blender.