Living in a large and skyscraper-orientated city, I’ve slowly developed a distorted definition of what it means to be ‘in nature’. When I lived in California, being in nature would be hiking to a field on a hill behind my house, surrounded by bugs, deer, and trees, where the closest thing to the modern world was a hidden cell-tower several hills away. Now, my view of nature is putting on my running shoes and jogging over concrete and asphalt to the streetlight-lit Riverside Drive Park that runs along The Hudson River. Here in NYC, beautiful buildings tower over you, obstructing the sun from your eyes.
So, I spent the last two weeks at Johns Hopkins University, taking a class on laboratory studies (fun fact: we chose a plant from a garden and extracted its DNA and did some more complicated stuff and then sent it in for sequencing— also relates to nature 🙂 ).
After the class ended, I was able to spend a few days at my childhood friend’s aunt and uncle’s house outside of Baltimore. My friend, who lives in California, was spending the summer working at Johns Hopkins hospital and living with her aunt and uncle. Visiting this house and property altered my distorted view of what it meant to live naturally. We spent time canoeing around their mini-lake, going on jogs in their backyard, which also happened to be a wooded forest, and cooking meals with veggies picked directly from their personal garden. We made a delicious casserole with potatoes and basil that we had harvested 30 minutes earlier. The meal was not only incredible but also the freshest-tasting dish that I had tasted since moving to New York City.
When I arrived back home, I decided that I wanted to cook more plant-based and natural recipes. While I can’t build a garden on my roof, I can focus on preparing meals using ingredients in their original form from when they were grown in soil. I found this plant-based recipe soon after returning from Baltimore and quickly got cooking.
Like the casserole that I loved in Baltimore, this dish tasted so fresh and didn’t taste anything close to artificial or too creamy. From my first spoonful, it was clear that none of the ingredients were factory created. So delicious and so fresh. ENJOY!
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small red potatoes quartered (peeling, optional)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
3 ears corn (or 1.5 cans), kernels sliced off
2 cups low sodium veggie broth
2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
2-3 green onions, chopped
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil, onion, and garlic and for 3-4 minutes.
- Add potato to the pan, season with a little salt and pepper, and cover to steam for 4-5 minutes.
- After steaming, add most of the corn, reserving a few tablespoons for garnish, and stir.
- Add broth and almond milk, cover, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low.
- Cook until the potatoes are soft and slide off of a knife when pierced – about 5 minutes.
- Add 3/4 of the soup to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer soup back to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cook for at least 10 minutes to let thicken. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
- To serve, top with chopped green onion, remaining fresh (or lightly sauteed) corn, and black pepper. Add a sprinkle of paprika for color.
Recipe from the minimalist baker (my favorite!!)