“Hello!” voice after voice echoes through the short hall as each of us enters Brooks home. The mood is inviting, comforting, and relaxed, even though the kiddos are chasing each other from living room to kitchen and back again before being wrapped in their pijamas and ushered off to bed. The girls and I sit around the kitchen counter as dinner is prepared, chatting about our weeks, whats new, how things are going, and what is to come in the week ahead. Enticing smells fill the kitchen as we recline on the dark oak bench next to the table or lean on the cold tiled countertop. We listen and share in turn, before dishing up our plates and taking to our spots in the living room. Project Runway, Revenge, or HGTV has been DVRed for the evening and we all commentate on the episode as it plays. A press pot or two of coffee has been prepared and dessert is served half way through the show, we pause to indulge and then take our seats and relax back into the mood of the evening.
Every Tuesday night for the last two years was spent in this fashion. Making food, drinking coffee, chatting, laughing, and watching tv that would turn your brain to mush. Teresa, Katy, Carly, Brook, Michelle, Sarah and myself would gather, making time for each other and celebrate our friendship. Girls Night was sacred… in a strange, off beat, sort of way. We have welcomed new lives, morned the loss of friends and loved ones, celebrated marriages and holidays, laughed and cried together in the safety of Brooks living room. Though I may be two thousand miles away, I still stay in touch with the Ladies of Tuesday night and think of them each week as they gather together.
One thing that made the dinners more…eventful, shall we say, is that several of us have food allergies or dietary limitations, so we were often forced to get creative. We have since traded recipes, swapped ideas and tricks, and found short cuts for making our favorite foods available for all of us to consume.
Last year Sarah prepared a Carrot Soup so silky smooth, so divine, we all insisted on having the recipe and made the dish later that week in our own kitchens. It is so simple to prepare and is more delicious than any carrot soup I have ever had. Since that day, I have made a few variations to the original, turning it into a spicy Thai inspired dish, that it is equally as fantastic I assure you.
-Thai Carrot, Celery Root Soup-
What you will need:
1 Yellow Onion chopped
1 Celery Root cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb Carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Russet Potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 quarts Organic Chicken (or veggie) Stock
2 tbsp Coconut Butter
1 can Lite Coconut Milk
2-3 tbsp Madras Curry
2 tbsp Sriracha*
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Cilantro for garnish
In a large stock pot saute onion in coconut butter until translucent. Add Chicken or Veggie stock, Potatoes, Celery Root, Carrots, Salt and Pepper. Simmer on low until the vegitable are soft. Once they are soft add 1 can Coconut milk, Curry, and Sriracha to the pot and stir. Ladle the soup into a blender and purée until smooth, if it doesn’t all fit do this in multiple batches. Pour back into the pot and allow to simmer on low heat for fifteen minutes to a half hour. Serve with Cilantro and Sour cream or Greek Yogurt for Garnish.
The heat and spice fills the air as the soup simmers, inviting all to come and partake in a comforting meal. Bon Appétit to you all, may this dish hold a memory as dear to your heart as it does to mine.
*Added in tribute for Carly Shoemaker, may your love of Sriracha inspire us all.