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Carrot & Coriander Bisque & Blissful Basil Book Giveaway

I can’t remember where I saw it, but in a feed somewhere I read that this time in our history will be known as “The Great Awakening”… and this comforted me. Thinking that most of the collective uncertainty, disappointment, and disbelief many of us are feeling these days will ultimately lead us to important work and connection with each other beyond what we can imagine right now. I like this idea. I want to be an active participant in The Great Awakening. I don’t think it has to be a grand gesture, maybe more small ones stacking up—building a sturdy, layered, colorful foundation. Like listening when you want to talk, helping create more win-win situations, or bringing a delicious soup like this one to your friend or neighbor.

For many of the people closest to me (including moi), 2016 was a year of building. A year of lessons. And building. Did I mention building? 2017 is going to be all about more sharing. And more listening.

Here’s what I’m proud of from 2016: 
I’ve deepened connections with talented, passionate women who inspire me beyond belief.

I wrote, designed, photographed, and illustrated a second (!!!) 320 book. (A process that requires a book in itself)

I completed a massive project that took me 1.5 years to create that I’ll be announcing any day now. (Gah!)

Here’s what I’ve learned:
Periods of discomfort usually lead to periods of “ah-ha!” and clarity—they need each other. Just be patient…

Feel it to heal it—don’t hide or distract yourself from sadness, overwhelm, fear—face it, look at it with open eyes, learn, make smarter decisions, and move forward.

Reach out when you need help. Most folks like to help even if you think they don’t.

Just because I can do it all doesn’t mean I should! I keep having to learn this one over and over, so here’s to putting more collaboration (maybe even adding team members) into practice in 2017!

In the spirit of sharing even more in 2017, I’m thrilled to tell you about a new cookbook from someone who I know worked her butt off in 2016. Ashley Melillo from Blissful Basil released her cookbook of the same name on December 29, and it’s a beauty she should be very proud of.


Ashley not only wrote and developed all of the recipes, but she took all the food photos herself too, which let me tell you, is no easy feat! You can tell she poured her love for plantiful ingredients and her soul into every colorful, drool-worthy page.

Ashley (and the publisher for YumUniverse, BenBella) is letting me share her Carrot & Coriander Bisque with YU and they’re also providing a copy of Blissful Basil for a Giveaway! Good stuff to kick off 2017, no?


What I love about Ashley’s approach is that she knows health isn’t just about more sweet potatoes and kale. It’s about mental health, too—doing your best to spend your energy on the things that are a cause of great joy or happiness—aka blisssss. She has a pretty inspiring campaign going for her cookbook launch that I think YU and I can get behind. So, to enter the giveaway, we’ll need some of your good mojo to add to The Great Awakening 🙂

To enter the giveaway:

1. Register here.

2. Tell us with a post comment below one important lesson you learned in 2016, and then share one thing that makes you feel blissful and hope to do more of in 2017.

3. If you want, spread the word, #honoryourbliss:

4. I’ll choose one winner at random by January 16, 2017, so good luck, friends!

Now, make some delicious bisque.

I didn’t have pomegranate, so I topped my version with a little toasted coconut, cilantro, and some Citrus Spice Cashews which lawdy lawd, was a delicious combination.

Citrus Spiced Cashews

Blissful Basil Carrot & Coriander Bisque
This soup is effortlessly special, demanding little in the way of ingredients and attention, yet surprising and delighting the senses nonetheless. Something about it is also incredibly soothing, and I find that enjoying a warm bowl of it for lunch brings a sense of peace and calm to a busy day. Plus, it’s even tastier on the second and third day, so there’s much to be gained from preparing it ahead of time. A rich, silky base of blended carrots and potatoes is balanced by the bright acidity of orange juice and the subtle warmth of fresh ginger. This soup is made just a touch lovelier with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and juicy pomegranate seeds, but you can absolutely omit them if you want to minimize ingredients.
Recipe type: Soup
Allergy Info: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups peeled and diced carrots (about 5 medium carrots)
  • 2 cups peeled and diced Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 cup fresh or 100 percent pure orange juice, plus more if desired
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, stemmed
  • 1–1½ teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, stemmed (optional garnish)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional garnish)
Let’s get started.
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 6 minutes, or until soft and just beginning to turn golden brown and caramelized.

  2. Stir in the vegetable broth, carrots, potatoes, orange juice, ginger, and coriander. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, covered, for 35–40 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and sea salt. Use an immersion blender* to carefully blend the mixture until smooth (about 4–6 minutes). It’s okay if tiny flecks of cilantro are still visible, but you want to get it as silky smooth as possible.

  4. Taste and season with more sea salt if desired. For an added pop of brightness, stir in another tablespoon or two of orange juice.

  5. To assemble, ladle into bowls and garnish with more cilantro and pomegranate seeds,
  6. if desired.
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

No Immersion Blender? | If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully ladle the soup into a blender in small batches and blend until smooth. Be very careful as the soup will be hot.

Photos reprinted from Blissful Basil by arrangement with BenBella Books.
Copyright © 2016, Ashley Melillo.

Heather Crosby topped this soup with toasted coconut flakes, cilantro, and Citrus Spiced Cashews.


Now, I want to hear from YU. What’s something you learned from 2016, and something that makes you feel blissful that you’d like to do more of in 2017? Tell us with a comment below…

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