Lenten Devotion, Tuesday, March 30, 2021: By J Hill

Published March 30, 2021 by SMBC

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Comfort Food
By J Hill
I can't really separate the notion of healing from that of nourishment. Regardless of how I need to be healed?spiritually, physically, emotionally?some form of nourishment is the bridge that gets me there. As much as I love to cook (I wouldn't claim to be a great one) the truth is, what I love about cooking is that I can do it for myself and for someone else. What's even better is that cooking has become something my daughter and I do together (sometimes virtually). Below you will find a recipe. It's a simple one for potato soup. It's one that Isabella adapted and handed down to me. I adapted it and am now handing down again.

And with that, nourishment delivers healing, and as healing comes so does Hope.

Let's get right to it with the good stuff:
-6 strips bacon (I cut it up with scissors)
-Shredded Cheddar cheese. A bunch
more shredded cheddar cheese to serve on top
-Butter 2-4 tablespoons (I do 2 plus 1 of bacon drippings).
-1 Stalk celery - The ultimate "I don't love the texture but the flavor is amazing vegetable" so I mince it as fine as possible so that it essentially melts into the soup - I do the same with the onion
-Small Onion - 1 - I like yellow but you could use white - dice as fine as possible
-Potatoes - I like a mixture of small golden and red - depending on size you'll probably need in the range of a dozen
-Flour - I use a gluten-free pancake flour but otherwise ~1/4 cup or less of all purpose
-Broth - I use vegetable (actually my favorite thing to do is take leftover roasted vegetables put them in a blender with salt pepper and water) - you'll probably need 4-6 cups
-Milk - I use +/- 2 cups of Oat milk - most of you will want whole milk
-salt and pepper to taste
In a hot pan, brown the bacon - if you want to use some of the fat, reserve a tablespoon or two.

Into a low temp pan add the butter, the celery, onion, salt, and pepper (if you want to kick this up a notch you could also throw in a diced jalapeÒo). I let this cook as low as I can until the onion and celery are past soft and starting to melt.

If you're using flour (and I have gotten away not using it - more cheese longer simmer of the potatoes) add it here until it's not clumpy and the flour (gluten free pancake mix) is sort of dissolved in.

Now add the broth and simmer - I love me some simmering so you can let it go a while - but at least five minutes.

Now throw in the potatoes and about 3/4 of the bacon - simmer on a medium low heat, stirring often, (if you skipped the flour then add a tad more broth and simmer lower and longer - stirring frequently). Do this until the potatoes start to break down.

Add the milk (or Oat milk) and a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese? turn it to low and continue cooking until it's as smooth and creamy as you like - I like it chunky but you'll figure how you like it.

Spoon some in a bowl, add some extra cheese, some extra bacon and take a moment to savor that we are healing.

Proverbs 3: 5?8
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

About the Author
J Hill, his wife Hillevi, and their daughter Isabella are long time South Mainers. J and Hillevi are artists; J is on the faculty at the MFAH studio school and he serves as South Main's Missions Coordinator.