Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 12, 2020

Cooking soup in times of revolution

Soup today with some hot chile flakes, turmeric and fresh herbs.
Photo Brenda Norrell 

Cooking soup in times of revolution 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

With a great deal of time on my hands, I’m making fresh vegetable soup today. This means that everything in the back of the refrigerator, that I had good intentions of cooking this week, goes into the pot.

It always seems to turn out good, if I remember to saute the onions, celery and celery tops in a little olive oil first, and then simmer the chopped vegetables in chicken stock, and add a bay leaf for flavor.

In my former life, before becoming a news reporter, I was a nutrition educator at Navajo Hopi WIC, then a food editor at Navajo Times,  when I was fresh out of graduate school.

During the early 1980s, before many people on social media were born, I also had the gift of working with Katherine Arviso at Navajo Nation Foods and Nutrition -- when she published the groundbreaking study on the superior nutritional content of ancient Dine’ foods.

This includes everything from juniper ash and dlesh, to wild onions and ground pinions.

While the soup is cooking, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if some hot food trucks could take wholesome, sanitary hot meals to all those who are homesick with the virus -- out toward Oljato, Utah, down toward Wide Ruins, Arizona, and out around Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico.

Many people don’t have electricity, refrigeration or running water. And when you are sick and weak with pneumonia and the virus, you can’t go out grocery shopping or undertake a great deal of cooking.

Today, I’m happy to read about Lakotas up in Rapid City, South Dakota, cooking homemade delicious meals and delivering those.

The Meals for Relatives COVID-19 Rapid City Community Response is providing home-cooked meals to those who are at home with the virus, and those in quarantine who have been exposed, and are staying home in order to keep others healthy. Meals for Relatives Rapid City.

If you have food cooking ideas to share, or photos, please send those along. When the Hopi blue cornmeal arrives, I’ll be working on my recipe for blue corn pancakes, with some maple syrup from up north.

It would good to have some of the delicious Zuni sourdough bread, from years long ago, with my soup today. Well, at least I  managed to grow some herbs while at home in self-quarantine.

I’ll top the soup off with fresh basil, dill, mint and oregano.

Take care of yourselves and keep on inspiring a revolution of struggle and caring.

Cooking revolutionary soup, notes on ingredients.
Chicken stock can be homemade or purchased, organic or low sodium is best. It's good to switch up seasonings. If you can get fresh fennel, it is wonderful as the seasoning and the whole house will smell good.
If you're sick, switch to a handful of crushed garlic. In Tucson, fresh lime is squeezed over a hot bowl.
For spicy, try chile flakes or jalapenos, with any dry herbs you like, oregano, thyme, basil, mint or dill.
When finished, top with fresh herbs. Serve with fresh tortillas, southern cornbread or a chunk of homemade and earthy whole grain bread.
This recipe started out with a great one of sauteeing onions in olive oil, and then adding chicken stock and a head of chopped up cabbage, for cabbage soup, with black pepper. It's really good too.
Soup, all over the world, feeds the families, feeds the masses.

Note on the fancy dishes: Those are from garage sales. My mother loved them. 

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