I have finally reached the end of a long weekend of non-stop movement. Between planning and executing classes for the open door days at Eden Club Femme & my first contemporary courses at the conservatory for the new school year, my mind and body have been in a frenzy of trying to remember correct music cues and those 8-counts I choreographed last week.
In moments like these, this other side of myself kicks in. I’ve been thinking about this lately since I showed my husband a video of me leading a hip hop class and he looked at me dumbfounded and said,“I’ve never seen you like this!”
I think we all have these multiple personalities that rear their heads when the moment strikes. While I would not describe myself as a “serious” type of person, I am certainly not naturally spontaneous and overly bubbly. However, if you put me in any situation where I have to perform- whether it is in an actual stage performance or teaching at the front of a crowded studio- this switch turns on and I light up like an overly-glittery lawn reindeer. I honestly don’t know where it comes from, but it has served me well as an actress in high school productions, a dancer, and a teacher.
I’ve never quite understood those typical “theater” types who are just so on all the time. You know, those people who are constantly lively and bursting with energy and to whom I always want to ask but how do you save any for your work? I guess that’s the difference between being a total extrovert and an extroverted introvert (it’s a real thing). My personal supply of vivaciousness has a limit, and it needs some quiet time to build itself up again. Once it’s there? Watch out.
So, despite the cranky protests of sore muscles laying stagnant overnight, I’ve been trying to wake up earlier to enjoy at least bit of peace and quiet before I put my sparkling high-energy teacher face on. Just 20 extra minutes of reading, sloooow stretching, or sitting and staring into space while sipping coffee (which is a much-needed underrated activity) helps me recharge for the next full day of classes.
When I get this busy, which in my line of work tends to be at random and sporadic times of the year, obviously any attempts at cooking elaborate meals go out the window. Which is why I took some initiative before the madness started and made a huge batch of this lovely roasted root vegetable soup complete with some healing spices to fight off any unwanted sickness that can creep in and take advantage of one's stress. Even though it hasn’t been quite cool enough in Tangier to warrant chilly-weather meals like this one, my circumstances call for something body-warming and comforting. This blended bowl of goodness certainly does the trick.
Turmeric + Ginger Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Makes about 6 servings, vegan + gluten-free
3 medium sweet potatoes
5 large carrots
2 medium potatoes
2 large turnips
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt + pepper to taste
1 red onion, diced
1 leek, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 1/2-5 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water with a vegetable bouillon cube)
First things first, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop up your potatoes, carrots, and turnips into cubes and spread them out on a baking tray. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, turmeric, cumin, ginger and salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with foil and roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until all the veggies are soft on the inside and starting to brown a bit on the outside.
In a large soup pot, heat the remaining two tbsps of olive oil and add the onion, garlic, and leek. Sauté until the onion is translucent, then dump in all of your yummy roasted cubes. Stir for a minute, letting flavors combine, then pour in your vegetable broth or water (use more or less according to how thick you like your soups) and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, slow it back down to a simmer, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. After about 5-10 minutes, taste the broth and see if you want to add some extra spices or salt to your liking. Once everything is good and soft, pour the soup into a blender (I had to do it in 3 batches) and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve with crispy bread and whatever toppings you like. In the photos, I used extra pepper, oregano, and hemp seeds. This soup gets even better overnight as the flavors come together, so it's great to save (or freeze) for delicious leftovers during your own busy week.