French Onion Inspired Soup, Farm Style

We’re at the Lotus Hotel in Oahu, Hawaii. An organic farmer, and myself (the Queen of eating everything organic). Being my first time traveling, I knew I would need to be open to the possibility of having some non organic food.

I call him the garden elf. He laughs at me for eating the green beans I brought on the plane from Erewhon.

“I’m a grower, these beans are too big for this time of season, I know they’re from Mexico.” It’s true, you’ll notice the green beans they sell on the shelf are thin, and dark green. My last minute plane food, didn’t appeal to him. I semi secretly eat my green bean bites at the hotel so my body won’t shake until we find some kind of food that I can bargain with my body to ingest.

We agree the best thing to do is order from the Hotel Restaurant tonight.

“Caramelized Onion Soup with Smoked Paprika and Sherry. “Hm, let’s try that.” I say, pointing at the menu.

We open the soup and take a sip. It was so good! I remember his onions I left in my walk in fridge before we left for our trip. I left them there, purposefully to make an onion soup when I got back, and now I’m really inspired.

Of course this soup does not have sherry in it, though if you have some, try it! This is an onion soup inspired recipe, with chunky veggies, and I love how it turned out!

This is the soup we have in our deliveries this week. I’ll give you the basics on how I made it, so you can try it yourself!

Sautee plenty of onions on low heat with olive oil and fresh thyme. It takes a long time to cook them down until they’re caramelized. Don’t give up. They will get translucent and then start browning. Meanwhile, I did the crazy job of blanching fava beans and peeling the skin of each and every one of them.

Puree onions with water (to desired consistency) and plenty of smoked paprika, as well as salt.

Pour the onion soup into the pot and add the veggies, simmer until cooked. I used fennel, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. I added fava beans and chives on top of the soup. Delicious! If you have time, you can marinate the fava beans in lemon, herbs, and olive oil.

Add some fresh herbs to the pot, I had fresh parsley and dill. As well as magnolia flowers!

Be Inspired!


Kali Star

Hawaii Adventure

We land right where we’re supposed to whether it’s a lesson learned, a moment of disappointment that leads to something better, or a dreamy insight that leads to grounded reasoning. And somehow we land somewhere. When nothing is set in stone and everything is possible, who knows what will come of it.

Introducing the Garden Elf

Everyone gets a cool character name here. I’ll call this new character, the Garden Elf. Being my favorite farmer, I would have been inclined to call him an Earth Angel, which he is, but that character has been written here many times. The Garden Elf, built me a garden before we left to Hawaii. And I would call him the garden gnome, because I remember a cartoon I loved with David the gnome, but the gnome is an old little guy with a long beard.

Vacation Time

We were in Oahu, laying back and dreaming about cute little farms, when we made a last minute decision to jump on a plane to Hilo. “Let’s go visit the farm you told me about.” I was determined it was a good idea on the last two days of our trip. A new friend that the garden elf met prior to our trip, showed interest in his assistance on his
Hawaii farm.

While some islands let you jump over without another COVID test, Hilo required another test without giving us any warning prior to us leaving Honolulu.

“I’m a renegade Man.” I remember him saying after I ran around the airport looking for a snack; showing up for departure just in time. I was amused as to where that remark would lead us.

I was lucky to find something I could eat. It was organic baby food pouches at Starbucks. A place I haven’t walked into in years.

Shocking News

“I’m sorry I have to quarantine you.” A young Woman said to us when we arrived to Hilo. Our LA COVID tests were past the 72 hours.

We were a bit shocked. I wondered if that meant we would have to stay 10 days in a Hotel. (Nightmare stories I heard about before I left.)

The Woman giving us our detention status, did so with a dolphin like heir to her and a cute smile, as she broke the news to us. She felt terrible for us. We were stuck. We asked if we could get a rapid test, but strangely, this island didn’t allow for that.

The garden elf took the reins and called the farm. We were allowed to stay in Hilo until our LA flight in two days, as long as we stayed with a friend (no hotels) and didn’t rent a car.

“I feel deflated.” He said as he pondered the idea of going back to Cali, while I struggled with what to say to the Taxi on the phone. “I don’t know what to say to the Taxi!” I cried.

We both had our weak moments in this predicament; being stranded on a little Island in quarantine. What else were two creative Scorpios to do, but find a way to pull each other out of our inner quarrels. We found a way. I’ll never forget the look in his eyes, that forced me to pull myself together and finally call the Taxi. A simple task, I know!

“I like moments like these, because that’s when the magic happens.” I said to him.

Magic Time

We did not run back to California! Finally, we met with Lloyd, at the Hilo Bay Cafe. Lloyd, the manager at the farm, was our Angel for the rest of the trip. He took us to the volcano, the waterfall, a tunnel, the black sand beach, and let us stay in his home (we called it the plantation home). I saw all the things in one day I’ve been dreaming of for a lifetime.

We also visited the farm, and were put to work. I think both of us were relieved by this. There’s something about contribution that makes us happy, even if we were on a vacation.

On our last day we ended up at a School who are training Agri-preneuers. The Garden Elf volunteered with the rest of the Parents, while I took photos. They pointed out that I wasn’t dressed for the occasion of shoveling dirt, but they loved my outfit. I have to say, being at a School volunteer day is one of my favorite things in life. I miss the days my Son was in Elementary School.

The night before going to school, we had sat with the co-owner of the farm for a meeting. I threw on an old green sweater full of holes, after we left the black sand beach. As we sat there, I began to realize I was in a business meeting with a developer, wearing a sweater with holes all over it. I looked at the Garden Elf’s shirt that had only two little holes in it. It was slightly chilly, when I removed the sweater to reveal my little tank top underneath, hoping I looked more cleaned up for the meeting. Of course, I settled in, realizing this was farm life, not a Hollywood Gala. In which case my Joie sweater with holes would still be happily accepted.

Sun Blasting my eyes….

Soup Time

On our last night at the Plantation home, my Elf consulted with the Guys about organic farming while I made soup. I day dreamed about the potential of his expertise on organic farming being spread all over the world, while I smashed up eggplant in the pot. “Where’s the music?” He said as he popped in to skillfully slice eggplant for the stove.

I made do without a vita mix, as it should be. I’ve become too spoiled with technology anyway. I love the idea of the simple farm life. I was just concerned that I didn’t have enough flavors and kitchen tools to make these guys happy with the soup! Here we were in the plantation home, a simple soup from the garden, with just enough natural, fresh flavors to nourish our souls.

We all tried to find our bowl of soup, but everything got mixed up at the table. “Is that my soup…. No that’s your soup…. I ate your soup…. Hey, you didn’t try your soup….Kali did you eat your own soup?” In the end, they were all pretty happy with the soup. Even Bing, who’s stomach was full from a Bento Box. I fell asleep hungry, as I do sometimes if I’m the one cooking. I often don’t feel an appetite when I cook. I know some of you out there relate to this!

We might not have ever seen the eggplant on the farm, if m Elf hadn’t turned a corner to see a big crop of it hidden away. That’s the magic of finding ingredients, you just don’t know what will happen at each turn. (Hidden life message…)

“You know the basket you used on the farm was actually a lamp shade.” Lloyd said.

Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, 3 little spring onions were all that were left on the farm, Cilantro, Coriander Seeds, Thai Basil, and some added organic mushrooms from the store, sautéed green beans and sliced radish on top. I never took a photo of the soup! You can imagine it!

California Dreamin’

We landed back where we started when we said goodbye to our Angel tour guide, at the Hilo Bay Cafe. We devoured incredible, fresh Hawaii fish just before we got on the plane back to California. An experience I won’t forget and will always seek. The fish in Hawaii is worth the trip. (Some of you know I only sell vegan soups, but I’m pescatarian.)

I rested on my Elf’s shoulder when he put ear pods in my ears, as we sailed back to our Cali world. It was a cover of California Dreamin’. At that point a part of me was happy to land back here.

Aloha! Let rainbows flow in your eyes and seeds grow in your hearts.

~ Kali Star

Happy Garden Soup

I was asked to write an article for Heart and Soil Magazine. I had a week to complete it, and it just so happened I was packing my bag to head up to Petaluma, where I thought I would have a leisurely little NorCal trip. To my delight, I walked into a beautiful farm style kitchen to concoct a new soup to share for the article. By my last night there, I fell backwards on the couch, exhausted, determined, and happy. I finished the article by the late evening, with not a moment to spare.

I had stumbled upon sunchokes and nettles at County Line Harvest Farm, visited a cute kitchen store for a new spoon, and fell to the graces of every little ingredient by way of instinct.

Heart and Soil magazine is an excellent resource to keep up to date on information about soil and food. Check out their magazine, and you’ll see my story in their gardeners edition!

Wishing you wellness always,

Kali Star