Simple Abundance

Karen Jones  |  1/6/2015 4:08:53 AM

Vegetable soup is wonderful on a cold evening.

According to Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, gratitude is one of the first principles of simple abundance.

She says, “At the heart of Simple Abundance is an authentic awakening, one that resonates within your soul: all you have is all you need to be genuinely happy. All you need is the awareness of how much you really have and then give thanks."

January is a perfect time to reflect on this statement. Simple abundance can be carried into the way we take care of our health as well.

So, begin again:

Eat Simply: Leave the sauce behind to save calories and fat.

Snack Simply: Nuts and fruit, fresh and dried, make light, easy snacks.

Shop Simply: Choose more locally grown foods and plant based foods for a fresh, tastier meal.

Prepare Simply: Use recipes with a few ingredients – make a 5 vegetable soup or a 5 fruit salad.

Savor Simply: Eat slowly and enjoy every bite.

Drink Simply: Include water with 2 tablespoons unsweetened fruit juice.

Smile Simply: Be grateful for everything you have and everything you will accomplish in 2015.

Recipe: Garden Vegetable Soup


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
  • 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004


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