What do you serve for lunch at The Sophia Conference?
After a huge morning of friendship, inspiration, art, poetry, yoga, contemplation, dance, music, beauty, laughter, sisterly sharing and divine feminine wisdom that is so whole-person, whole-earth, whole-span-of-existence, deep-down nourishing that you feel perfectly filled up in that satisfying, down-to-the-bones sort of way…
How do you create a feast to follow Anne-Emilie Gold Cultivating the Voice of the Sacred Feminine…
Or Shannon Thompson of Shakti Rising leading women back to their “sacral truths,” remaining in that raw place long enough to heal the wounds of competition and betrayal, so we can join together as sisters, promising to honor, respect, protect, defend… and speak truth to one another.
Sharing and releasing, laughing, loving and learning can be hungry work! How then create a bounty to warm and nourish beautiful bellies, and match the grace of the day?
Last year’s Tuscan White Bean Soup was hearty, and especially suitable for the stormy day we had. But while that is a vegetarian soup, and utterly delicious, it is not vegan nor gluten-free. We had an alternative soup on hand, but were surprised by how many chose the alternative, and saddened to have a divide in our culinary experience when united is the very purpose of the day.
So this year our Ayurvedic lunch would be vegan and gluten-free. Inspired by recipes found throughout this blog, and prepared with enormous, enormous help from Paige Sapp and Liscia DiGiacomo who poured great love and devotion into “all this yumminess,” and Georgia Ferrell whose detailed, attentive and fluid orchestration was priceless, we managed to serve a feast of replenishment. Hopefully, it inspired more divine realizations, authentic voicing, truth-telling and sacred connections.
So what did we serve? Lunch centered around a Curried Vegetable Ragout, something my mother, appropriately for this occasion, calls Thanksgiving Harvest Stew. We made it Vegan by replacing the ghee with coconut oil, leaving out the Korma sauce (contains milk) and instead doubling up on the spices, adding chopped tomatoes and an additional cup of Coconut Milk (which we had fresh, as we were also making Coconut Yogurt and had coconuts galore).
We also left out the yellow pepper and festive cranberries, adding instead heaps of zucchini, spinach, bok choy and chard, and garnishing it with toasted pepitas for a healthy crunch.
We served it with hearty breads, gluten-free crackers, a variety of Seasonal Salads, Rosemary Roasted Vegetables, this Coconut Yogurt, a vegan Raita made with Coconut Yogurt, this Cilantro Pesto and a gorgeous bowl of Yam Puree.
For dessert, it was a Fruit Compote with fresh Coconut Creme, organic, fair trade Chocolate of every shade, and Carolyn Kull’s I Am Awakening Raw Key Lime Pie, a recipe everyone wanted.
Altogether it was a symphony of flavors, a rising harmony with a light, clean resolve. Much like the Sophia Conference itself: integrating, uplifting, energizing, satisfying.
I think food should be like that: a complement, a support, a reflection, a symphony even. For food, after all, is a love story.
I hope you will love this ~
Soup for Sophia
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 T curry powder
1 t ginger powder
1 t garam masala
1/4 t ground red pepper, preferably something rich like ancho or aleppo
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic
1 potato, chopped into small pieces
4 carrots, diced into bite-size coins
2 celery stalks, diced
1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
1 lb. french beans, cut in thirds
1 zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, torn into pieces
1 bunch collards, chard or bok choy, torn
1 bunch spinach
optional vegetables: broccolini, yellow crookneck squash, snap peas
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 can organic coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or pecan pieces, toasted
optional: gluten free tamari, to taste
Clean and prepare all the vegetables. Melt oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add spices and sauté for one minute. Stir in onion and cook until transparent. Add the garlic and stir. Add the potato and sauté until its edges begin moving towards translucence. Stir in carrots and celery, and sauté another few minutes. Add cauliflower, french beans and zucchini. Stir thoroughly to coat all the vegetables.
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low for five to ten minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the greens. After 3-5 minutes mix in the coconut milk. Allow to simmer a few minutes so the flavors and juices merge. Season to taste.
Garnish with nuts or seeds, and serve warm with your favorite bread or crackers.
Immense gratitude to Tara Eby of In-Sight Photography for these images that really helped capture the soul of Sophia. If you are interested in learning more about “Sophia” activities, or can help us move towards non-profit status, you are invited to visit Sophia.
Since “everyone” wanted the I Am Awakening Key Lime Pie recipe, I am giving away a copy of Cafe Gratitude’s I AM Gratitude Recipe Book as a Sophia Gift. Please comment below. Let us know your favorite recipe for cultivating the divine feminine. I’ll pick at random from commentors early next week.
P.S. Congratulations to Amy Steckdaub for winning the book. Fully deserved as you give us so much of your time and love in service to The Sophia Conference.