Make it. Eat it. Love it.
There are places in the world that make you feel no more then a grain of sand on the beach. Places that open your eyes to the wonder and beauty of the earth. Places, that if you let it, bring peace to an otherwise chaotic life, stillness to an over analytical mind and comfort to a stressed soul. The Ramon Crater is my zen, one of my favorite places on earth.
It was the first place I returned to when I moved to Israel. The night after I arrived, my husband and our new friends ventured into the crater late at night to watch a meteor shower. We laid on our backs and watched the stars dance across the sky. It was the most beautiful experience.
Only a 45 minute drive from Be’er Sheva one would think I visited often. Unfortunately this is far from true. This past week, I changed that and returned. I sat with my feet hanging over the edge of the crater, hearing nothing but stillness in the desert air. The crisp winter wind ran across my face as I gazed at the expansive never ending landscape of the Ramon Crater. My husband came and sat beside me. We sat in silence with the rocky earth beneath us, his arm around my shoulders, keeping me warm. ‘There is nowhere else I could possibly want to be in this very moment’ was the only thing that ran through my mind.
We drove home on the winding desert roads where camels passed us by and the occasional raindrop fell from the sky onto the dry earth. When we got home I made this:
A warming and delicious soup with very few ingredients paired with a flakey puffed pastry. Simplicity at its finest. A soup that can bring you to a place of zen all on its own.
12 oz. puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry and cut the pastry into six squares. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and brush tops with beaten egg.
Bake until squares are golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove pastry squares from oven and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When most of the liquid has evaporated, transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
Melt the remaining butter and olive oil in the same pot and add the flour, stirring until all lumps are gone.
Whisk in the milk until combined and cook until the mixture is boiling and thickened, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the mushroom mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and top with puff pastry square.
Where is your place of zen?