Soup tastes better in Colorado

I have moments where I’m not fully convinced that I live in Colorado.  About once a week, I am struck with the terrible fear that someone is going to make me move back to Phoenix, forcing me to swelter in the unsustainably urbanized desert.  Colorado is just so dang awesome.  All things I enjoy doing are multiplied ten fold because I get to do them in Colorado!

On Saturday, climbed in Clear Creek Canyon and managed to put up 4 routes in as many hours.  For three people on a crowded crag, it wasn’t too shabby.  I lead my first climb of the day (5.8 slab), followed by a TR of a 5.9+ (I’m going to lead this next time – it was a great climb!), a slabby 10b, and a grouchy flail on pumpy overhung 10.b.  I am still working towards my outdoor lead goal, but I’ve been redpointing 11s in the gym.  Colin and I are planning a mini-dirtbag trip to Shelf Road in southern Colorado, and I’m hoping that the training will pay off.

My tendons, however, have not been pleased.  With the addition of a twice-weekly hot power yoga classes, my IT band has joined the ranks of angry shoulder tendinitis.  Why am I chronically injured if I am recreationally mediocre at all of my athletic endeavors?

Instead of furthering my sports injuries this afternoon, I made some food.

Spiced Apple Walnut Bread

I’m by no means a food blogger (as evidenced by this heinously out of focus cell phone picture), but I do enjoy a nice quickbread from scratch.   Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian


  • 1/2 stick cold butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • couple shakes of clove (I’m not much for measuring)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped apple (I used Gala)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 9×5 baking pan
  2. Mix dry ingredients (including spices)
  3. Cut in butter until pea sized or smaller
  4. Beat together juice and egg and pour with dry ingredients.  Mix enough to coat everything, but not enough that the batter smooths out.
  5. Fold in apples and walnuts.
  6. Bake approximately 60 minutes (give or take depending on your elevation)
  7. Dust with powered sugar

My Sunday Soup series has thus far included Nuclear Vegetarian Chili and perfectly seasoned Lentil Soup.  This week’s creation is pictured below:

I call this dish, “Aggressive Minestrone”

There are way too many weenie vegetarian soup recipes out there.  Meatless soup is often dangerously close to resembling baby-food.  Pureed carrot and leek water?  No thanks.  To combat weak soup, I look at the picture of the soup and either double or triple the total stuff I put into the soup.  Why?  Because I need my lunch to be over 250 calories or my students will encounter hypoglycemic rage.

I used this recipe, doubled the beans, doubled the macaroni, and added an extra 8oz of broth.  Many of the noodles have exploded, but the soup still tastes delicious and is now exceptionally filling.  Serve with a piece of crusty bread smeared with soft cheese.

Does anyone else have delicious vegetarian soup recommendations?


About jacqandthemountains

I teach middle school science, and I like to play outside.
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