For those who follow the teachings of Toltec Wisdom as presented by Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, you know that the third agreement is about not making assumptions and always seeking clarification. Growing up, my parents told me never to assume because when you do you make an ass out of you and me. As much as I know not to assume, so often I do.
My latest assumption had to do with a bowl of soup. A friend of mine and I have started what seems to be a soup exchange. I made her tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches last time we got together and this month, I made her Tuscan garlic bread, at her request, and she emailed me the night before to let me know she was bringing a pot of pea soup. I immediately assumed it was going to be split pea soup, as that is the only pea soup I had ever had or heard of. I did not seek clarification and assumed that her experience and knowledge of pea soups was the same as my experience and knowledge of pea soups. I found myself beginning to think about how I was going to tell her how I was not a fan of split pea soup and began having these fantasies of how I was going to “enjoy this soup.”
Then I began to catch on to the reality I was creating in my brain about a soup I had yet to see or experience. I began to remember all the times I had suggested that my wife and others be open to trying things at least once, because their experience with one person’s creation using X was not the same as every other persons creation using X. So I released my assumptions about her “pea” soup and my expectations that I would not like her “pea soup”
I am so glad that I did because it was the most amazing Pea Soup I have ever had and was so glad that she left the remainders behind, as I was able to enjoy them again that night for dinner and the next day for lunch. Eating her soup reminded me of the importance of practicing healthy communications skills and having the confidence in our relationships with others to seek clarification as don Miguel Ruiz wrote, “Also find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you, and you have the right to say yes or no. “
I could have saved myself some angst if only I had asked her about her pea soup. And yes, I will be making it again as she was kind enough to share the recipe with me. The amazing thing about this soup, for me, is tastes so good and will be a life long reminder not to make assumptions about pea soup and that when I seek clarification I can gain “inner peas.” I just have to give “peas” a chance. I should also say that she brought me a bag of “inner peas” that she found at Trader Joes. I sprinkled my inner peas on my pea soup when I ate it later. All this “pea” talk has reminded me of how I ended a sermon by talking about what you should plant in your spiritual garden. They are peas, squash, lettuce, and turnips. I wrote, “Start, by planting three rows of peas: these would be the p’s of Patience, Positive thinking, and Persistence. Next, I want you to plant 3 rows of squash; -- Squash excuses -- Squash blame and Squash criticism. Then, I want you to plant 3 rows of lettuce; Let us be responsible -- Let us be trustworthy – and Let us be ambitious. We are going to finish out our spiritual gardens with 3 rows of turnips; Turn up when needed -- Turn up with a smile – and Turn up with confidence.”
Should you be craving pea soup about now, here is my friend Maryanna Mueller’s recipe. I hope it gives you the same “peas” as it did me. You should know that I had to seek clarification on how to make the soup before sharing it with you, because it lacked some information that might be vital in its preparation (i.e. quantities of ingredients.) I had learned my lesson about making assumptions. So here is the recipe with the measurements I was able to get from her, as she is not one to measure when cooking.
Emerald Isle Spring Green Soup
Boil potatoes of favorite color-these were red, leave skins on (about 6). When soft, cut & blend with almond milk, veggie broth or liquid of choice (about 1 cup). Sauté minced shallots/onions/garlic (about ½ cup) and add these & potatoes to big pot on low. In another pot, warm frozen peas (about 1 cup) and (about 1 cup) frozen broccoli (cut florets into small pieces) quickly, then remove and splash with ice cold H2O, drain. Put several handfuls of these in blender with Half n Half or liquid of choice (about 1 cup), & add this and gorgonzola/goat cheese (about 1/2 cup) to potato pot. Bring this big pot up to med. high, see it bubble, and then bring down to low, stirring all ingredients. Add any seasonings such as salt/pepper, basil, etc. Keep emerald green peas & broccoli on top for a few minutes to warm, not to get too dark in color.
Add cilantro, chives, and fat-free sour cream if you like, paprika or whatever to garnish.
This gives you a Spring-Green Emerald Isle soup for our Vernal Equinox and Ostara Ceremony! Remember to give “peas” a chance and not make assumptions.