Warm Thyme and Turmeric Soup | Traditional Medicinals

3/17/17

I am beyond thrilled to be partnering with Traditional Medicinals this season as well as braiding a few of their offerings throughout my upcoming cookbook, Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen! I have been such a huge fan of this company for so long and it was such a joy to create a recipe inspired by a few of my favorite tea blends. 



I made a warm vegan turmeric stew with a maple sap base. We have been drinking the sap raw and when used in soup, gosh I don’t even know how to explain the flavor. It’s simple sweet and delightful. overflowing with jasmine rice, carrots, potatoes, English peas, thyme, warm sunflower oil, dried meadowsweet herbs, fresh ginger and paired with a steeped glass of @TraditionalMedicinals Turmeric with Meadowsweet and Ginger tea. The team at Traditional Medicinals goes through great lengths to make sure their products do what they say they are going to do. This process starts with herbalist-crafted formulation, carries through into sourcing high quality, organic ingredients, and ends with their cupping team tasting to confirm what they have worked hard to achieve. I would choose them over any other brand for their intense commitment to sustainability throughout the entire process. I feel completely drawn to their tea lately and the way it nourishes my body and picks me up or calms me down. Turmeric is gorgeous in pigmented color and supports a healthy response to inflammation associated with exercise, as well as supporting digestion.* Meadowsweet can be foraged from riverbanks, wet fields, and roadside ditches. It blossoms June through September and is such a beautiful and wholesome herb. Ginger has always been one of my absolute favorites all year long for its hug to my digestive system, making this tea one of the most warm and nourishing. Perfect for an end-of-winter, welcome-spring type rainy day. 


Warm Thyme and Turmeric Soup

6 Cups of water or fresh maple sap 
1 Cup of water for the rice 
1 Cup sunflower oil 
1 Cup Jasmine rice 
1 Handful of fresh asparagus 
1 Cup mushrooms (In season) 
1 Small bag of carrots (about a pound) 
5-6 Stems of thyme 
4 Tablespoons of turmeric powder or 3 small turmeric roots
2 Tablespoons of ginger powder or 1 small ginger root
1 Cup English Peas
4 Medium-sized potatoes

The turmeric bubbles up on the top of the pot as it cooks and is utterly rich and foamy and delightful both in flavor and color. The palette is a capturing of the essence of the most intense sunset. Such a deep yellow, it almost as if a pastel drawing crayon was crushed and molded into an edible. It is earthy and savory with a bite of spice. The stew pairs well with a warm glass of Traditional Medicinals Turmeric with Meadowsweet and Ginger tea. Turmeric’s wide appeal may have recently gained momentum here in the West, but this healing rhizome or horizontal root has been celebrated as a cooking spice, a dye, and as a medicinal herb in India for over 3,000 years. Used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to support everything from digestion to everyday discomfort, it has such an enduring legacy.


The goal of this soup is a soft, welcoming texture and aroma. First, chop the carrots, asparagus, unpeeled potatoes, and mushrooms into small cuts. In the fall and winter, I make my cuts chunkier and wider. In the spring and summer, I chop them up skinnier and lighter. It pairs well with the season, warm and rich and thick like a stew and then once the warmer days are here, I keep the soup more free flowing and lighter in texture. Pour in the sunflower oil and the chopped vegetables and simmer on medium for about five minutes. This allows the oils to soak into the vegetables but not get overly caramelized or burnt. 
During the five minutes, give the vegetables a stir here or there….begin to prepare the rice. 

Jasmine rice mixed in makes for a tender bite with each spoonful, fueling the belly with a warmth and a fullness. In a separate pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour in the Jasmine Rice. Turn to simmer on a medium heat and cover. 

Pour the water or sap if available, into the pot with the vegetables. The rice will cook for about 20 minutes or until all the water has left your sight when you peek into the pot. Set aside, uncovered so the rice does not “over-steam.” 

Place four fingers on the top of the thyme stem and gracefully pull down the leaves to separate from the stem. Chop these leaves of thyme finely and toss into the pot. Add in the turmeric and ginger powder. If you are using fresh roots of each, chop finely, as small as possible to simmer into the base of the soup. 
Let vegetables simmer on a low to medium heat for about 25 minutes. 

Don’t forget your peas! These are my favorite! Their firm pop and fresh flavor adds so much texture and excitement. English peas are known as shell peas or garden peas. They grow inside the same type of shell as snap peas and enjoy a short-lived season during late spring and early summer. They are harvested at their best in May! Once the soup has simmered for 25 minutes, sneak out a carrot or potato and blow to cool it down, then test its softness. If it feels just about right, add in the rice and popped peas and simmer for another 5 minutes. Warming it all together, sometimes I drizzle a little extra sunflower oil in on top to swoosh it all around together. 


Tie a small amount of bakers twine around a bundle of thyme for presentation. It can be bowed to hang on the side of the pot, dipping in just tenderly like a tea bag, or presented on the side of the final bowl, or chopped finely and kneaded into the butter for warm bread. Sprinkled with turmeric on top. The tea can be made ahead time in bulk to be warmed or as a beverage on the side, slightly sweetened with honey or a dash of maple syrup! 

Check out Traditional Medicinals for more ideas on which teas to pair with your meal or morning.







Thank you so much to Traditional Medicinals for sponsoring this post!  

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 


Maple Syrup Making at the A-Frame!

2/19/17






Our neighbors are the sweetest! They came over this last week to show us the Maple Syrup making process and it's been such a joy to learn about and honestly much less intimidating than I imagined it to be. Fifteen gallons of sap were harvested from our trees from the first two days. I boiled up some small batches and the neighbors took some as well. The taps are still on the trees, but as a ratio perspective, I'm learning, is that with most sap which is 2% sugar, it will take forty-three gallons to make one gallon of Maple Syrup! Forty-three gallons harvested, lifted from bucket to bucket to boiling pot to be boiled down.. such a beautiful, ode to slowing down life and appreciating the most simple things. I am so intrigued. 






What a burnt batch looks like! I put the girls down for bed thinking that it still needed a lot longer, and came out to Max flagging out smoke. The house smelt so good. Like, crisp waffles. Haha! I didn't want to share this, but decided to share the whole process from start to finish. I will be scrubbing this pan for days.



Fresh sap. So delicious to drink on it's own too.



Sap officially becomes Maple Syrup when it reaches 66.9% sugar. The magic moment is measured as it's being boiled on the stove and needs to reach seven degrees above the boiling point of water. When boiling sap reaches 219 degrees F, that means enough water has been removed to officially become Maple Syrup. Maple trees actively run sap the best if the tree goes through a freeze-thaw cycle so it is all based specifically on wind, sun and temperature drops. The other reason is that maple trees produce sap best when it is just before the active growing season. Once the trees leaf out and begin to actively grow they heal very quickly and the holes that were drilled dry up and heal over. It's the perfect way to close the chapter on winter and welcome an ode to a coming Spring and this is for sure the first of many more years of a tradition for us as a family! You'll see on the last image that there are many different variations that a Maple Tree can produce in terms of color. SO amazing! 



Same exact process, same property, same timing and collection times, but three different trees! I am completely obsessed with the color variations and grade levels! I wrote about the entire process in detail and the full tutorial in my manuscript for my cookbook coming out next Spring, so I'm hoping you pick up a copy! Happiest syrup season to you! I am so thankful for this process and the beautiful trees that outpour nourishment to us. 


Wild Blueberry Scones!

2/17/17

We celebrated the 60 degree weather today by busting outdoors and devouring these scones together! I wrote outside in the greenhouse and it felt so sunny and warm.  

I would love to hear feedback if you make this and give me a run down on the recipe instructions! I'm working through over 65 recipes for my manuscript and I've had friends and family who have been making them all and keeping me in line, like, Johnna... that doesn't make sense..chop how.. mix how..? So, if you make this, I'd love to hear from you through my Instagram or email and I'm never too proud for someone to write me and ask for clarification! I think there are many ways to bake, many ways to cook, and many ways to view life. I'd love to hear your perspective. 

So, Wild Blueberry Scones with Bee Pollen Confetti!! 





Wild Blueberry Bee Pollen Scones 

1 1/3 cups of all purpose flour 
1 cup bread flour 
6 Tablespoons of raw cane sugar 
2 teaspoons of baking powder 
1 teaspoon of baking soda 
1 pinch of salt 
3/4 cup of whole milk yogurt 
1/4 cup of whole milk or half and half 
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
6 Tablespoons of butter (about a half a stick, room temperature) 
3/4 cup frozen wild blueberries 
One dollop of honey 
One dollop of maple syrup 
1 Tablespoon of Bee Pollen 
1 1/2 cups of oats 

In one bowl. Mix both flours, raw sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, until evenly woven. Add in whole milk yogurt, milk/cream, vanilla, butter, honey, maple syrup, bee pollen and save the oats for last. Once all the ingredients are combined, spoon in the oats gently. Fold in blueberries with a spoon. Place small handfuls in a buttered muffin tin and bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes. Watch for a browned top. My oven might be on the hot side, so check in at around 18-20 minutes. Sprinkle with a handful of raw bee pollen just after taking fresh out of the oven, so they sink into the warmed parts and latch on. Let cool for fifteen minutes before serving. Serve plain, with fresh berries on the side or a maple whipped cream frosting, then follow up with the handful of bee pollen sprinkles. Magic! 


Whipped Cream Frosting

16 fl ounces (1pint) of organic heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar (sometimes I add a little bit more than this) 
1 Tablespoon MapleSyrup 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla 

Whisk it! Whip it good, in a chilled bowl. Serve! Store the extra in a sealed container in the fridge where it will last around five days or so! 




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