January 8, 2017

Let's Meet 2017 with Hygge and Mindful Soup

A new year is unfolding....
 I have been considering how we create comfort during  challenging times, apparently I am not alone in the urge to cocoon. I recently read an article in the New York Times on the Danish concept of hygge (pronouned HOO-gah) which is an all encompassing way of embracing coziness and warmth -- body, mind and spirit. In considering this concept, I was drawn to one of the comments I received in November when I asked readers what they wished they had had when they were caregivers to loved ones who were seriously ill...I received a response that was profound in its simplicity and accuracy...it simply stated "I needed soup" (thank you LL). Yes! Exactly! That's hygge! 
What better way to comfort ourselves during challenging times than with a bowl of hearty soup. Soup exemplifies the tenants of mindfulness...it does not have to have perfect or expensive ingredients, it can't be rushed, you need to turn the high heat down and let it simmer (as with our thoughts in meditation) and it soothes and warms the body, mind and spirit from the inside out. 
So this January to help you get started in the practice of hygge...let's share soup together. While it may be impossible to physically gather around a table in my house or yours, I invite you to join me and others in a virtual sharing of soup.  I will be posting soup recipes throughout the month of January and would love your contributions. You may either post them directly in the comment section of the blog posts or you may email them to me (pressler@StressResources.com)and I will post them on the Stress Resources blog. Do you have a story that goes with a recipe...share it with us! I hope that the recipes will connect and inspire us all to practice hygge this January.
To get us started, here is a favorite recipe of mine...enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T butter
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
24 oz egg noodles
In a 6 quart crockpot add in whole chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, butter, basil, oregano. Next add in chicken broth, water and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low hear for 6-7 hours
Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken back into the slow cooker. Now add in egg noodles. Cover and cook just until noodles are tender.

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