Monday, May 16, 2011

Lemony Fennel, Baby Pink Turnip and Watercress Soup and Watching Penny Live

Sometimes it is easy for me to get sucked into the little details of my everyday life. Getting kids ready in the morning, making sure everyone is fed... Then I start working.

It is taking much energy for me to work on this book. Believe me, it is my passion. I cannot stop thinking about it. What I will make, how I will find the freshest ingredients, what their characteristics are so I can style them organically, or how to perfect my tart crust recipe. But I feel this intense focus has also been limiting me in some ways.

"Has it been closing me to possibilities?" Forgetting about the world around you is not such a good thing when you are a stylist and a photographer, you see.

This weekend all of that took a new light.

I tuned in to Penny's workshop streaming live from Seattle. I had been anxiously waiting all week. Although I still had kids with me and not everything could stop, I set time during the day for it, and then caught up with the rest of the recorded workshop at night.

When I hear Penny speak about making a connection or something as simple as patience, it resonates. Never underestimate the power of patience. Or the quote everyone kept tweeting: "If you are not doing what you love, why not?".

Yes, why not?!

It was refreshing and inspiring. Taking a step back and looking at my body of work. Paying closer attention to details and observing. Patience, patience, patience.

All of this comes right before I will be speaking at BlogHer Food on a panel discussing "Finding your visual voice". I hope I can inspire others as I was inspired this weekend.

I also want to thank all of you for your support and interest in my upcoming workshop in France. It literally sold out in the first minute after we opened registration. I was blown away with the response. If you have not made it into this first group, please be patient. There might be others in the works.

Thank you again.

Oh yes, and let's not forget about the recipe in hand.

I cooked this lemon scented fennel, baby turnip and watercress soup as I was watching Penny's workshop. Super simple, spring-inspired soup. I hope you like it.

Lemony Fennel, Baby Pink Turnip and Watercress Soup

Serves 3 to 4

2 Tbs olive oil
1 baby leek or 1/2 leek, white part only, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, diced
3 baby pink or white turnips
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup packed watercress leaves (tough stems removed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Grated pink turnips, garnish
Yogurt, garnish
Amaranth sprouts (or any other green), garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced leek, garlic, and fennel. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes or until soft and translucent. Do not brown them.

Add the turnips, potato, and chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the watercress and cook for 1 more minute.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest. Puree the soup in a blender. You can strain it if you like or leave it a bit chunky.

Garnish with grated pink turnips, yogurt, sprouts and olive oil.

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