Temps are dropping and my favorite way to keep warm is with a delicious bowl of soup! This year I've been creating my own simple broth that I think you'll LOVE! It's simple... fresh Lemon Grass! Lets get started with a list of ingredients and seasonings!
Seasonings & Herbs
When finished prepping the soup I like to top it with Grated Parmesan. Some times a squeeze of lemon juice. I also like a little crunch while eating soup. You can add Croutons, Tortilla Chips, Crackers, Bread, whatever works for you!
Begin your soup by selecting your ingredients. Get creative - you can literally add anything! Yum! Once all your produce is washed sort it by how long it takes to cook. You’ll want to cut the veggies that take longer to cook first! Don't forget to wash your veggies! You never know where they've been before you purchased them.
Before you cut any veggies, take your lemon grass and break it into bits. This releases the flavor. Fill a small pot with the lemon grass bits and water. Put in stove with low heat. Make sure to cover. This is going to be your soup base.
Start with onion. Dice your onions then put them in your soup pot with olive oil. Turn heat on low and cover. (We are going to season as we cut up other veggies.) Keep an eye on your lemon grass broth. If it starts to boil, turn the heat OFF. You don't want the freshness of your lemon grass flavor to cook out. Keep covered.
Next cut up your celery, add to your pot, sprinkle in salt, stir then cover again. Move onto cut up your carrots. You can get shredded carrots or shred your carrots if you prefer. Add to carrots your soup mixture with a dash of rosemary, stir them cover again. Now it's time to cut up your green beans. Add to your pot with Cumin, stir and cover. If you’re adding potato, cabbage, or broccoli/broccolini, this is the time to cut those up and add them into the mix. Stir. Keep heat LOW and pot covered.
If you’re adding orzo 0r lentils - add them now. Turn heat off your lemon grass broth if you have not already. Next you’ll cut up your shiitake mushrooms and peppers. You can use any kind of peppers. You could even use a variety of peppers if you like. I usually go for cubanelle or poblano. For this example I used one yellow pepper. Once mushrooms and peppers are cut up add them to your soup pot, stir and cover.
Time for garlic. I used 4 cloves. You can use a shredder or cut up with a knife. Don’t forget to smash the garlic cloves to release the flavor! Add garlic to your veggie mix, stir, and cover. Time to add lemon zest. Zest a lemon directly into your mix, stir then cover. Now it’s time to add your lemon grass broth to your veggies! If you want more broth refill the pot with water and add heat again. Once boiling you can then turn heat off and add the second pot of lemon grass broth to your soup! If your adding meat now is the time to prepare that! Once it’s all cooked up, mix into your soup! Wah lah!
Serve! Add crackers or croutons or cheese! Have fun and enjoy!
Before my mother founded this coalition it was hard for people to grasp the concept that human trafficking is not some foreign issue. That it REALLY happens right here, in the USA. In small towns. Probably in your town. She spent hours online viewing literal people, children for sale. Being a mother of four, it changed her life. I saw it. She founded this coalition help people get informed. The first step is believing this horrible reality exists. People are living through it right now. First thing YOU can do to help fight against human trafficking is to get informed. Believe the people who have survived it. Support the people who are taking action.
What can I do to Raise Awareness about trafficking? One of the most impactful experiences I’ve had is listening to others speak about it. Be it my mother from her experience with the coalition over the years or Leslie F. King, a Survivor Leader & Author, about her very real and very intense experience being trafficked. I’ve heard Leslie speak twice and both times she shifted my perspective with her powerful message. If you want to raise awareness on the topic of trafficking you can request a speaker from the Kalamazoo Area Anti Human Trafficking Coalition to present to your office, friends, or community.
In March this year Leslie F King had a book signing with KAAHTC. I’ve been reading her book ‘When Angels Fight Back’ which is her story about escaping trafficking and ‘leading a revolt against the darkness’. Her story is not fiction - it’s very much a reality for some and her experiences are not foreign. What happened was right here in the state of Michigan. Trafficking is happening al around us. Are you brave enough to face the issue?
I’ll never forget spending time with my mother in Lansing. The power of being present and advocating for others. We were in the capital building speaking to real people about the coalition to help make change. Days like today, where we are voting fir elected officials, are when advocacy matters most. Send letters to your elected officials. Find out what your state, city, or county are doing about human trafficking in your area.
If you have the time and ability - volunteer! Not in the Kalamazoo area? You can find your local non-profit organizations that assist with any one of these ways to fight human trafficking. There is so much that can be done to help with the cause.
About the Author
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.