Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alphabet Soup for the Soul

We all respond to setbacks, reversals, conflicts and adversity differently. Some of us may lose our appetites and others may go on a feeding frenzy. Still others of us may find comfort in eating certain food items. Call it comfort food. It could be pepperoni pizza, or double butter pop corn, or a Dairy Queen pecan cluster blizzard, or maybe Kraft dinner. What do you like to eat when you are feeling low? Is there a particular food that picks you up or calms your spirit, or is enough of a diversion that it feels like comfort? It might be chicken soup, or spicy pasta, or hot porridge, or homemade apple pie with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. Psalm 25 is comfort food for the soul. It's an alphabet soup for the soul. The reason I call the psalm an alphabet for trouble is because David wrote in Hebrew and while we cannot see the evidence in our English translations, he began each of these twenty-two verses with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In the psalm David calls on God and speak our his concerns and recites God's character virtues and values and gains assurance that God will look after his needs. He receives comfort.

Recipe for Summer alphabet soup Serves 4

4 plum tomatoes
4 ears fresh corn, husked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled
8 cups water
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into
1/4-inch pieces
1 cup alphabet pasta or other small pasta such as flakes, orzo, or baby shells

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. After removing tomato cores drop tomatoes into boiling water, & remove in 15 seconds transferring them to a colander. Rinse with cold water.
2. When the tomatoes are cool, peel away tomato skins. Halve the tomatoes & then snip into coarse chunks; set aside.
3. Cut all corn kernels from ears of corn. Save the corn cobs.
4. In a soup pot, heat the oil and when it is hot, add the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, or until the vegetables soften.
5. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring for 3 minutes more.
6. Pour in the 8 cups of water and add the corn cobs. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Use tongs to remove the cobs from the soup.
7. Add the corn kernels, green beans, zucchini, and alphabets. Return the soup to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the alphabets and vegetables are tender. Add more water during cooking if the mixture seems too thick.
8. Taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

GPS Application
“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.” Psalm 25:8-10

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