Sweet Fire Tonic (with ginger, cayenne, turmeric & apple cider vinegar) - The First Messpin it!Sweet Fire Tonic (with ginger, cayenne, turmeric & apple cider vinegar) - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Lucy Hope22/11/2017 - 9:41 am

    Just recently subscribed to this blog and am so glad I did because this recipe is right up my street. Will be making it in the coming days! May I ask where you bought your measuring cups and spoons?ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2017 - 10:10 am

      They were lucky finds at HomeSense! (Home Goods in the US/elsewhere) I don’t think they even had a brand attached to them or anything. Sorry I can’t be more helpful on that one.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker22/11/2017 - 10:05 am

    Considering allll the sickness and foods and things coming up in jthe next few weeks, I’m SO here for this tonic!!ReplyCancel

  • Tegan Thompson22/11/2017 - 1:18 pm

    This is perfect for winter! My fire tonic is straight savory and not a treat to gulp down. Do you know how long the shelf life is with this? Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2017 - 1:32 pm

      If you keep it in a container where the juice can go right up to the lid (minimizing the oxygen exposure), I’d say you could keep it in your fridge for 3-4 days. I’d leave the coconut oil out if you’re bottling it though, and then just add it when you’re heating the juice up.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full22/11/2017 - 2:51 pm

    I’m very hot and cold with my juicer too. I went through a phase last holiday season where I juiced EVERYTHING and now I’m not even sure where my juicer is… welp. Honestly, I would love this as a smoothie with a healthy dose of coconut water. I’m so down on that ginger+cayenne train!! Cheers, Laura! :)ReplyCancel

  • Genevieve M22/11/2017 - 5:57 pm

    OMWord!! This was seriously delish and a great way to warm up on a blustery day.ReplyCancel

  • I can’t wait to make this as my post Thanksgiving refresher – thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Sloane B23/11/2017 - 8:25 pm

    Drinking this warming beverage right now. I took your advice and didn’t mess around with the cayenne pepper – I can feel my muscles warm up and relax. Thanks for the awesome recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Nina K26/11/2017 - 11:16 am

    I love the idea of warming up the juice, adding spices and coconut oil as a solution to juicing in the winter – a cold glass is not what I want on a winter morning! The coconut oil adds the vitamin absorption as well, and apple cider is a great stomach soother. Thank you the recipe! I messed with it by removing pineapple and adding a beet :)ReplyCancel

  • Lily27/11/2017 - 8:42 pm

    Wonderful. Don’t forget to add cracked black pepper to this and all your turmeric concoctions — it’s necessary for the bioavailability of turmeric’s nutritional benefits.ReplyCancel

  • McKel Hill, Nutrition Stripped28/11/2017 - 12:31 pm

    This sounds excellent. You can’t beat the zing of fresh ginger when paired with turmeric, apple cider vinegar, and juicy orange. File this recipe under healing, refreshing and revitalizing!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie01/12/2017 - 10:17 pm

    This sweet fire ROCKS, dude. I made it via blender + cheesecloth. So good. I felt like I was punched in the face by the ginger, which is just the way I like it.ReplyCancel

GOLDEN LENTIL SOUP WITH SPINACH, LIME & COCONUT - The First messpin it!GOLDEN LENTIL SOUP WITH SPINACH, LIME & COCONUT - The First messpin it!View full post »

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  • Alice16/11/2017 - 10:34 am

    I don’t have a slow cooker…. but now I really want one. If only I can find the space for it. :)

    The soup looks so good & substantial full-course soups are my favorite thing. I don’t cook with lentils nearly enough, but I love their flavor so I need to get on it and make this.ReplyCancel

    • Laura16/11/2017 - 10:59 am

      They are seriously all huge haha. I have to keep mine in my basement because my kitchen’s on the small side ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Katrina16/11/2017 - 11:52 am

    Such a comforting soup! I love the lime in there!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie M.16/11/2017 - 1:24 pm

    Wow this lentil soup looks incredible!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full16/11/2017 - 3:23 pm

    My Thanksgiving/Christmas last year was kind of muted, so I’m excited to dive into all the holiday fluffery!! That being said, I’m NOT down for all the sugar/snacks/heavy food that the holidays usually bring. My body’s been asking me to eat lighter lately, and it makes me feel more energetic when I’m not being “weighed down”. So soups, salads, and vegetable-heavy dishes are the way I’m going this year!!ReplyCancel

  • Nandita17/11/2017 - 4:56 am

    Love the photos of your kitchen shelves and love this simple recipe! Totally winter friendly :)ReplyCancel

  • Nic17/11/2017 - 5:07 am

    Hi Laura…this looks so amazing that i want to try it TODAY!. Just a quick question on the level of garlic… do you think it would impact too much on the flavour if i reduced it down to, say, two cloves? Five sounds tasty but i am out in company tomorrow and wonder whether the aftermath of the garlic could be too much :-)
    Thanks so much….ReplyCancel

    • Laura17/11/2017 - 7:14 am

      You could definitely cut the garlic. This soup has enough going on flavour-wise to reduce it! ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Liz K17/11/2017 - 7:37 am

    I’ve been having trouble finding regular old mustard seeds, are the black ones that different? Heading to whole foods today to see if they will have a better selection than my usual grocery store.ReplyCancel

    • Laura17/11/2017 - 12:31 pm

      The yellow ones will work just fine. The black ones tend to be a bit more pungent, but in the grand scheme of this soup, I don’t think you would notice too much of a difference.I feel like Whole Foods will definitely have them though.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Erin at Pure Feast17/11/2017 - 8:44 am

    Seriously LOVE using my slow cooker, and lentils, coconut milk and curry spices is one of my favourite combos. Can’t wait to try this recipe! The shredded sweet potato is genius.ReplyCancel

  • Heather17/11/2017 - 10:32 am

    This looks so, so good! I’m going to give it a try this week, do you have any general suggestions for adapting to make it on the stove?ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder17/11/2017 - 11:37 am

    You are so not the only one who feels this way, and I think you described the struggle for balance perfectly. Really wishing I hadn’t given away our slow cooker years ago, but may need to try to remedy it in my pressure cooker soon ;) we’ll see how it goes! Hugs Laura.ReplyCancel

  • Anna17/11/2017 - 12:26 pm

    This looks AMAZING! But there has to be away of doing it without a slow cooker?!ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2017 - 3:28 pm

      A few people messaged me on Instagram saying that they simply made the soup as-is on the stovetop! I’m guessing they brought everything to a boil and let it simmer until everything was tender and incorporated/smooth and creamy.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Kara17/11/2017 - 5:13 pm

    Hi ~ Can this be made without using a slow cooker? I have one but would love to get in this in my belly tonight and I don’t have the 4 hours to slow cook.

    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/11/2017 - 3:28 pm

      So sorry for the late response! See my reply to Anna for this one ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Audra19/11/2017 - 3:08 pm

    I’ve been looking for a hearty slow cooker recipe, so thank you so much for this. These flavourings are perfect for this time of years, and I love that it’s lentil-based. Soups don’t normally fill me up, but this was almost like a curry which is great. Love everything you come up with! Looking forward to cooking up some of your recipes for the holidays :)ReplyCancel

  • Jill19/11/2017 - 3:57 pm

    This looks delicious and can’t wait to put it in rotation for the winter!
    Regarding your comment about not salting lentils at the start : here is an article to read that explains why you should salt…http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/11/how-to-make-french-lentils.html#comments-301071 Even though this is about french lentils I’m sure it applies across the board with all lentils.
    He also has a good article about beans and the myth about not salting cooking water. And actually, it’s not the salt that will make a bean skin tough but something acidic, like tomato :)ReplyCancel

  • chrissie20/11/2017 - 3:49 pm

    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! Thank youReplyCancel

  • Aleisha21/11/2017 - 10:10 pm

    This looks amazing! I have been looking for some vegan slow cooker recipes and this definitely fits the bill. The slow cooker is so fantastic for busy families like mine but a lot of the recipes that I see online include animal products so, like you, I mostly use mine for cooking beans. Please share more recipes like this!

    Also, can you share what brand of coconut yogurt you use?ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/11/2017 - 8:12 am

      Hi Aleisha!
      Thank you so much. My favourite coconut yogurt brand is Anita’s, which is only available on the east coast in the US right now I think. I make the odd trip over to New York state and always make sure that I grab it. So rich, tangy and delicious.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Amanda | Whats cooking23/11/2017 - 9:46 pm

    I just made this and it was so good! I’m bringing it to Thanksgiving at my parents. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again. It definitely rivals the delicious daal recipe in your book! So much goodness to choose from. It also happens to be beautiful when it’s done. have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • […] brought a delicious lentil soup/daal recipe from The First Mess and it was a hit. I certainly over-indulged a little bit as well. These chickpea bites were a […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel30/11/2017 - 12:09 pm

    Hey! This looks beyond amazing. I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering if I could use regular brown lentils instead?
    XoxoReplyCancel

    • Laura30/11/2017 - 12:56 pm

      You can! The brown lentils typically take longer to cook, but since this is happening in a slow cooker, time shouldn’t be an issue. The only difference I’m worried about is the overall creaminess/unity of the soup. The split red lentils kind of break down in this soup and contribute to the creamy texture. The brown lentils are more likely to stay whole throughout the cooking process. Let me know what it’s like if you try it!
      -LReplyCancel

      • Rachel01/12/2017 - 9:52 pm

        So I tried it with the brown lentils andddd….. it was AMAZING! I used full fat coconut milk and cooked it for an hour longer so they didn’t stay whole. It was so so good. Thank you for this amazing recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Jo10/12/2017 - 6:50 am

    Hi Laura, I’m hugely happy and grateful to have found your blog. I’m going to make this soup and the ultimate vegan snack board for our forthcoming Christmas party. I don’t have a slow cooker, but will use our Le Creuset casserole (made of cast iron and enamel) on a low heat in the oven. So excited!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah11/12/2017 - 12:34 pm

    So excited to try this! We just got our first dusting of snow here in little eastern IA. It’s perfect timing! Now..to just find the perfect loaf of bread to use as my “spoon.” :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy13/12/2017 - 11:12 am

    Put this soup on the dinner menu this week! I’m going to cook it overnight tonight- can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Burgess21/12/2017 - 4:55 pm

    Just tried this recipe this week! It was really delicious, but I would recommend cooking in veggie stock for some added flavor. Really good!ReplyCancel

  • Maura Leppo24/12/2017 - 7:04 pm

    Love this! If you were inspired to develop more slow-cooker recipes it would SO appreciated. There just aren’t many plant-based ones out there.ReplyCancel

  • Donna in Inwood04/01/2018 - 12:13 am

    I made this tonight and it’s yummy, but a bit too spicy for me. I’m surprised none of the other comments mentioned it. I didn’t use the optional curry, just the suggested half teaspoon of cayenne, and I’m sorry I did — I should have cut it in half. The creaminess of the coconut milk almost offsets it, but not quite. That said, it’s a nice combination of flavors. Also, it was impossible to find black mustard seed. I probably looked in 3 or 4 stores.ReplyCancel

  • Shana04/01/2018 - 11:13 am

    Hi Laura,
    I’m looking forward to trying this slow cooker soup…I love making soups in the slow cooker on work days.
    I’m in the market for a new slow cooker, so I’m wondering if you have a favorite. I’d love to get one whose insert can be used both on the stove, then into the slow cooker. The ones I’ve seen have a teflon lining, which is a deal breaker for me. Any suggestions?
    In peace, ShanaReplyCancel

    • Laura04/01/2018 - 12:56 pm

      Hi Shana,
      I have a very basic Crockpot model and it’s the only one I’ve ever used. My insert is not stove-safe unfortunately, so cannot comment on that. Might be best to look at some of the more slow cooker-focused food blogs and see what they recommend.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Patricia05/01/2018 - 1:31 pm

    Recipes look wonderful..anxious to try someReplyCancel

  • meshell09/01/2018 - 5:27 pm

    I make this again and again, it’s excellent. Thanks for such a great recipe, it’s so versatile and flexible too.

    I have honestly made this a dozen times and even with a few slight additions or variations (carrots, white potatoes, paprika, etc) it is just wonderful.ReplyCancel

LEGITIMATELY CRISPY BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES - The First Messpin it!LEGITIMATELY CRISPY BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES - The First Messpin it! View full post »

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  • Marta25/10/2017 - 5:44 am

    I LOVE this! I can’t seem to make a tray without a soggy and/or burnt sweet potato somehow… meh – NEver tried to coat them with any starch though! I like the meditative part of chopping veggies (and do it often!) I feel like all this “trouble” just makes it all taste better in the end :) Will try this soon with the sauce – yum! Have a wonderful day Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Erin at Pure Feast25/10/2017 - 6:32 am

    I’ve made sweet potato fries with cornmeal before (wasn’t too crazy about them), but I’m super excited about trying them with arrowroot. T H A N K S !ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker25/10/2017 - 9:35 am

    I really appreciate the LEGIT crispy title of this! haha. I’m with you, when sweet potato fries are done right, they are ohhh so right. You are a fry queen and I can’t wait to make these!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder25/10/2017 - 11:59 am

    Genuinely appreciate your commitment to this process Laura! Cannot wait to give these a try :). I made your root vegetable dal for dinner the other night and it was so amazing and comforting (had it two nights in a row). Just on a Laura-kick and I love it – xo.ReplyCancel

  • Kat Downs25/10/2017 - 1:04 pm

    If recipes can be spirit animals, this is mine. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley25/10/2017 - 1:54 pm

    This is the stuff of my dreams. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting for the rest of us.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda25/10/2017 - 2:18 pm

    Your work here is done.ReplyCancel

  • Sadly, I do not tolerate arrowroot, is there a replacement, even if not quite as effective? Thx!ReplyCancel

    • Laura25/10/2017 - 3:36 pm

      So in the recipe notes I recommend cornstarch as a one-for-one replacement, but other options you could explore (off the top of my head) include tapioca starch or even potato starch. I have not tried this recipe with the tapioca or potato starch, so cannot guarantee the success rate unfortunately.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Tonie Osborne25/10/2017 - 7:04 pm

    I am definitely going to try this but I love a cilantro lime sour cream dressing w them. Just like the grill at Nordstrom’s used to have. My friends and I would go there all the time just to get them. Then they changed sauce and now we hardly go anymore!ReplyCancel

  • sara forte25/10/2017 - 8:23 pm

    Oh I generally do not like high maintenance.exact sort of recipes but I am so making these! They sound perfect and I appreciate how much time you dedicated to this. You’re amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full25/10/2017 - 9:18 pm

    I’m really excited to try these. I can usually make a decent roasted (and soft) sweet potato, but the element of crisp has always eluded me.ReplyCancel

  • […] extra tid i helgen och känner sig ambitiös, så kan en ju göra stripsen mer som pommes enligt Laura’s fool proof method. Så sugen på att testa! Annars, för lite latare dagar, funkar enkla ugnsbakade strips alldeles […]ReplyCancel

  • Heather26/10/2017 - 1:21 pm

    There is nothing I hate more than a soggy sweet potato fry. This recipe is calling my name. And like always, your photos are so dreamy.

    hugsReplyCancel

  • Emily26/10/2017 - 1:54 pm

    Quick question: Have you tried tossing the potatoes in olive oil vs spraying with cooking spray? I am just wondering if it makes a difference. Thank you! These look delicious and the pictures are beautiful.ReplyCancel

    • Laura27/10/2017 - 8:57 am

      Hi Emily,
      So I have tried tossing the fries in oil after tossing them in arrowroot powder and I didn’t like the results. The spray oil is still preferable because it doesn’t disturb the arrowroot coating as much, and it’s definitely less messy.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Laine26/10/2017 - 3:35 pm

    That you for all the tips, Laura! I’ve never tried soaking my fries in the water before baking. Will give this recipe a go on the weekend! :)ReplyCancel

  • Carlos At Spoonabilities29/10/2017 - 7:36 am

    The sweet potatoes fries look delicious and the photos are mouthwatering!
    I always have issues trying to bake a crispy sweet potato. i will give a try your recipe:)ReplyCancel

  • Zita @The Puur Blog29/10/2017 - 10:31 am

    Finally! Thank you for this recipe <3 I'm in love with sweet potatoes, but I just couldn't get them crispy no matter how hard I tried. Now I'll try your method, I can't wait. :)ReplyCancel

  • Maggie Bergius29/10/2017 - 3:53 pm

    This is my method of making sweet potato fries too! They are delicious! I will defenitly try the dip-sauce, looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Hilaire01/11/2017 - 9:58 am

    oh wow! My husband and I were JUST talking about how baked sweet potato ANYTHING (fries/tots) never comes out crispy enough!
    Can’t wait to try out these methods – thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Diego Lopes01/11/2017 - 1:20 pm

    I don’t know what potatoes have against me, but I rarely get them right and crispy…hopefully your recipe will change that! =)ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa Gargiulo01/11/2017 - 10:15 pm

    These look delicious and I LOVE your website. It’s seriously my current vibe. Question: will you be posting a Thanksgiving/fall menu or recipes? Looking for some inspiration so I can avoid making the same old dishes.ReplyCancel

  • Ruby03/11/2017 - 5:00 am

    Yessss these sound absolutely perfect! Your meticulous hard work has for sure paid off here and I cannot wait to try this method <3ReplyCancel

  • […] sugen på att testa Lauras *perfect* baked sweet potato fries! Hon verkar ju onekligen ha kommit fram till den ultimata […]ReplyCancel

  • Daniel05/11/2017 - 10:12 pm

    Made these tonight. They were great. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Claire P06/11/2017 - 7:14 am

    Yummy! :) it looks so delicious and I love sweet potato thanks a lot for sharing the recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • […] However, occasionally I’ve simply have a crap day and also desire something that tastes indulgent yet is in fact packed with benefits. Get in these wonderful potato wedges. This dish has 3 remarkable components that integrate for, in my mind, a best dish. Baked wonderful potatoes are covered with a tasty peanut granola and also lush peanut sauce. Maybe an appetiser yet I’ve been recognized to call these supper. I believe this concept would certainly be remarkable with Laura’s completely crisp sweet potato fries! […]ReplyCancel

  • Mackenzie @ Nibble to Nourish29/11/2017 - 1:17 pm

    This recipe looks fantastic! I’m a huge sweet potato lover and have been searching for the secret for crispier fries. I definitely plan to try this one out!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda U23/12/2017 - 7:15 pm

    My mandolin has a 1/4″ fry blade, decided to try it out with this recipe (too much chaos in this house for knife work to be meditative) — worked like a charm, used the time saved to read up on dip options.ReplyCancel

Vegan Pumpkin Lassi with Ginger, Cardamom & Coconut - The First Messpin it!Vegan Pumpkin Lassi with Ginger, Cardamom & Coconut - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Laura21/10/2017 - 5:32 am

    Hi there, this looks amazing, I have ordered your book and I am so excited / looking forward to the arrival ( 30th Oct ) and cooking most amazing plant based meals xxReplyCancel

  • Erin at Pure Feast21/10/2017 - 7:52 am

    Ok so, your dreamy weekend plans of nature hikes and laundry are literally the best weekend activities sometimes in my mind too. And I love alternate nostril breathing for getting a good, quick dose of balance. Another weekend goal added to the list – making this pumpkin lassi that sounds perfect for enjoying while reading a good book / magazine / the rest of these interesting links you’ve posted. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Mich21/10/2017 - 8:51 am

    Gorgeous!! Such a perfect fall smoothie.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda21/10/2017 - 9:29 am

    Frozen banana in a pumpkin smoothie situation is KEY. A warm banana with warm pumpkin is just blech.ReplyCancel

    • Laura21/10/2017 - 10:43 am

      SO TRUE. Pumpkin goes flat-tasting and weird so easily. I always add ice, too.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Thanks for the tip on Anita’s – I can’t wait to make this!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full21/10/2017 - 1:52 pm

    I can’t get over that recipe comment… what a journey! I’m glad that the commenter finally found true love though, after her first rotten husband. Also, I loved your interview in the Kitchn. I could read about you talking about food all day!! Hugs xxReplyCancel

  • Marsha22/10/2017 - 8:29 am

    Where would I find the pumpkin loaf recipe? Love this post!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Murphy22/10/2017 - 3:02 pm

    Love your site! I send the link to my daughter all the time. One way I reduce plastic is by using parchment….over and over again. Instead of wrapping a ramekin/dish with plastic I use parchment and an elastic. Its also great when wrapping cheese. Keep it up buttercup!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth23/10/2017 - 1:13 pm

    Ugh, the battle against plastics is tough. I also have a love/hate relationship with the gallon-size ziploc bags. I recently bought a bunch of glass storage containers from Ikea and am now trying to use them in place of those bags. But they are both smaller in volume, and bulkier. My freezer looks much more organized and I have not used one of those bags in weeks, but overall I cannot fit as much in my freezer.ReplyCancel

  • Aria24/10/2017 - 1:29 am

    This pumpkin smoothie looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful one!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lenore23/11/2017 - 3:53 pm

    This is the most divine pumpkin recipe I have ever tasted. I just left out the lemon juice since I liked it so well with the fresh ginger.ReplyCancel

Vegan Butternut Minestrone with Sage, Chickpeas & Chard - The First Messpin it!Vegan Butternut Minestrone with Sage, Chickpeas & Chard - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Karlie Kashat11/10/2017 - 7:07 am

    This look amazing. Good on your man! I’ve been wanting to do a “100 day goal” aka last 100 days of the year focused on meditation and journaling. I’m reading Intuitive Being right now and really enjoying it!ReplyCancel

  • june11/10/2017 - 7:44 am

    This recipe sounds warm, wholesome, filling, just the right intro to the cool weather recipes our bodies crave.
    I would suggest “The Mindful Kind” podcast, Rachel KableReplyCancel

  • Amanda11/10/2017 - 8:46 am

    I love the chickpea and rice stew in your book, so I imagine this is going to be just as delicious!

    I like Katie Dalebout’s Let It Out book for journaling prompts. It really helped me earlier this year to unlock some big blocks that have led to a pretty good period of crushing it. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kris11/10/2017 - 10:01 am

    For the spiritual: The Next Right Thing podcast with Emily P. Freeman. Thank you for the recipe, it looks lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Lanie11/10/2017 - 11:12 am

    I love that you have a container of tasting spoons on your counter! This soup looks so good, and I will be trying it soon. Love everything I have made from your lovely cookbook, so this will be as yummy, I’m sure. Thank you for all you do!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie11/10/2017 - 12:47 pm

    I look so forward to making this.

    And as for the, “what’s next” question…ignore that pressure and follow your inner voice. I think the idea there always has to be something “next” or “better” is so dangerous. It’s not healthy.

    You are an artist of food, a lover of a healthy planet and a recipe creator and sharer. You’ve published a wonderful cookbook that is so happily received. You keep a blog we follow with excitement. You’ve helped people like me and my family/friends find delicious ways to deprioritize meat and focus more on homemade, seasonal, plant-based, restaurant-worthy food…what more does there need to be unless YOU feel an inner-call to pursue it?

    Keep journaling and dreaming and if this is “all” you ever do…it’s pretty freakin’ amazing and impactful!

    Thank you for all you do. Our family eats better and healthier (and picky eaters aren’t so picky anymore) because of you!

    Blessings as we head into 2018.ReplyCancel

    • Louise11/10/2017 - 4:04 pm

      two thumbs up to all you’re saying!ReplyCancel

  • Sage + butternut — count me IN!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura11/10/2017 - 2:29 pm

    The four agreements, by Don Miguel RuizReplyCancel

  • dana11/10/2017 - 2:44 pm

    um YES. This is STUNNING. WANT!!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah11/10/2017 - 3:44 pm

    CRUSH IT! NAIL IT! Success always sounds so violent! Sometimes it’s good to just gently Wing It. :) I loved this post. And this minestrone is gorgeous. Thank You!!ReplyCancel

  • Laine11/10/2017 - 4:06 pm

    This minestrone looks absolutely delicious, Laura! The podcasts that I’ve found inspiring are Good Life Project, The Lively Show and On Being with Krista Tippett. At the moment I’m reading Autobiography of a Yogi which I find really inspiring. Good luck with your inner journey. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sue Lyn12/10/2017 - 4:38 pm

    hello Laura,
    I live in West Sussex in the U.K. i enjoy making and reading your recipes very much.
    i would say briefly that to find deep spiritual meaning in one’s life, jw.org is a great place to start.
    wishing you a good day, and a fruitful journey,
    best wishes
    Sue LynReplyCancel

  • Sarah13/10/2017 - 12:33 am

    Made this last night and it’s SO delicious. Used a mix of greens instead of just chardReplyCancel

  • Sarah13/10/2017 - 12:35 am

    Made this last night; its incredible! The fresh sage and thyme make it even better; I’ve never out fresh sage on anything, and now I’ll always want to. Can’t wait to make again!ReplyCancel

  • Maria13/10/2017 - 10:29 am

    Oh my gosh! This looks to die for. I LOVED minestrone soup as a kid. The chard in your garden is so impressive!! Chard is one of my absolute favorite foods so I am always on board for adding it to anything and everything. I wish that the chard I grew looked as amazing as the chard you grow though:)ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca13/10/2017 - 11:41 pm

    I’m always loving the garden/veggie photos, and how your chard looks so healthy and vibrant! On the mindfulness front, I recently finished Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Maezen Miller. If you haven’t read it already, you might enjoy given your connection to the land/garden :)ReplyCancel

  • Aria14/10/2017 - 1:42 am

    This looks tasty and delicious!!Thank you for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Lea14/10/2017 - 3:00 pm

    Made this soup today and it is delicious, perfect for fall. It makes a huge amount which is great for large families or company and for me, freezing it for lunches.ReplyCancel

  • Alexa16/10/2017 - 12:09 pm

    One of my friends did a 365-day photo project one year, and she inspired me to do it the next year. Basically, starting on January 1, you take one photo a day for a full year. Because I’m a writer, I also kept a journal where I’d briefly describe each photograph and what day it went with. That was a project that I found really cool, and I’ve looked back on it again and again; it really allowed me to see the kinds of things I focused my time and energy on, reflect on what was important to me, and realize where there were gaps or missing pieces. It’s a long-haul project, but one I found to be powerful.ReplyCancel

  • Florisch16/10/2017 - 4:26 pm

    Laura,
    I am speechless….
    Love your man and “feed” him like a good foodie. So lovely….a woman loves a man….. what a thrill!How awesome!
    He will love it, and also you.
    Same I do with my wife for some years, still trying to go (30 yrs) to vegan.
    Trying, and keep on trying. Glad I keep on loving her.
    Thanks for your message to the world Laura. Keep on posting!

    Regards
    Ype, Netherlands, EuropeReplyCancel

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek17/10/2017 - 6:27 am

    This soup is gorgeous Laura! And I love reading your words on taking time to think about what’s next. I constantly find myself doing that to understand if I’m really heading where I want to go. Good luck with the deep thoughts! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Sonja Haag17/10/2017 - 6:10 pm

    I can honestly say that I love you…the person you are, the way you think and communicate and the care you take with everything you do. This post resonated with me a lot. I am about to shift career energies, having worked as both a wedding/portrait photographer and personal chef for over 8 years. I decided to narrow focus on cooking and feeding people and will be saying goodbye to myself as a professional photographer. Something I know is the right choice, but is also scary and sad and stressful and I have been letting in the ‘resentment, stress, overthinking, self-doubt, cynicism, and other distractions’. Especially the distraction of money.
    Thank you for the reminder to take it a day at a time, not needing to be continually drilling someone else’s idea of success into myself.

    Fondly,
    SonjaReplyCancel

  • Sussi17/10/2017 - 8:39 pm

    Hi Laura,
    Another great recipe! Ah the ‘what next’ question… I am always asked that question – after art projects, study and my PhD – I used fuel the anxiety which changed the genuine excitement of the ‘what next’ invitation into dread. Now I give a little smile with a twinkle in my eye, quick raise of the eyebroes and say ‘hmm always lots to choose from – still thinking – I’ll keep you posted’.
    Have you considered having an exhibition of your photographs? For the record I would definitely purchase a large copy of ‘creamy french lentils w/mushrooms + kale’… just thinking aloud
    thanks for your creativity – alwaysReplyCancel

  • Christina18/10/2017 - 5:52 pm

    I adore soup season. And your food photography makes this soup look particularly mouthwatering! I love the rich colors and flavors going on here. Gimme Gimme!ReplyCancel

  • Tiana Matson19/10/2017 - 6:18 pm

    This recipe looks great, I would like to make it without dried chili flakes. I am doubting how it looks like.ReplyCancel

  • Denise21/10/2017 - 10:53 am

    This soup is fantastic and the balance of flavors is perfect. A hit with the family…. It’s already been requested for ski lunch this winter (in a thermos). I added a sprinkle of sage leaves crisped in brown butter… Love sage!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey22/10/2017 - 1:25 pm

    Do you think this would be good with hot pepper shells made with cayenne? I need to use them and thought maybe it would work?ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/10/2017 - 1:53 pm

      Kelsey, by hot pepper shells, do you mean a shell-shaped pasta? If so, I think they would be great in here–a good counterbalance to the sweet butternut squash.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Maya22/10/2017 - 3:47 pm

    I can’t put my finger on what it is, but these photos are particularly gorgeous! It must be the quality of light, the colour palette, maybe the coziness factor? Anyways, love your mindset and writing, love this recipe, sending hugs xxReplyCancel

  • […] Butternut Minestrone with Sage, Chickpeas, and Chard from The First Mess Spicy Squash Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing from Martha Stewart  Fennel Butternut + Squash Miso Soup from Kale + Caramel  Acorn Squash Fries With Chipotle Dip from YumUniverse  Stuffed Spaghetti Squash from Love & Lemons  Roasted Butternut Squash and Udon Noodles With Cilantro-Tahini Sauce from Naturally Ella  Honeynut Squash with Radicchio and Miso from Bon Appetit  Spicy Peanut Stew with Butternut Squash and Chickpeas from Oh, Ladycakes  Butternut Squash Dal from Jamie Oliver  Delicata Squash Bake With Tahini Sauce from Minimalist Baker  Oven-Roasted Squash With Garlic + Parsley from Eating Well  Roasted Kabocha with Maple Syrup and Ginger from Food + Wine  Roasted Butternut Squash Taco from Cookie + Kate  […]ReplyCancel

  • Smadar04/11/2017 - 7:58 pm

    Oh MAN this was good!!! Especially the soft chickpeas with all those chunky vegetables and that spicy, salty, mildly sweet broth… awesome recipe as always :)ReplyCancel

  • Greg07/11/2017 - 4:49 am

    I’m also a man and cutting back the meat and going for an increased vegetable diet. I just made this recipe for my wife and I, this recipe is awesome! Super tasty and one we will definetely revisit again. Very economical also.. Well doneReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth11/11/2017 - 6:41 pm

    I just made this tonight and it is amazing! The combination of flavors and textures makes it so much more than just another tomato-based veggie soup recipe. I was craving a soup like this, but usually end up feeling “meh” about the ones I’ve tried. This one, though, will be my stand-by from now on! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Cyndi K15/11/2017 - 8:55 pm

    Really enjoyed this twist on minestrone. Thanks Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Chrissie16/11/2017 - 1:05 pm

    I made this recipe last weekend. It was absolutely delicious!.ReplyCancel

  • Janel Barthe31/12/2017 - 6:07 pm

    Yes, yes, to the photographs! Want to make make this soup, can I use diced tomatoes instead? Crushed tomatoes too acidic for my family. Any other substitution ideas welcome tooReplyCancel

    • Laura01/01/2018 - 12:48 pm

      Hi Janel! Yes, diced tomatoes would be fine here. The soup might be a touch more watery/less rich-seeming, but the flavour will be virtually the same :)
      -LReplyCancel