Last night the husband and I realized that the wildflowers are currently in full bloom in Death Valley National Park and it's predicted that, for the first time in over a decade, they're expecting a rare super bloom thanks to heavy rain last October.
Ummmm, stop everything!
You guys, I almost packed up the kids and drove overnight to get there. Death Valley is my favorite place on this Earth that I have ever visited (aside from Nepal). Too see it covered in wildflowers at a comfortable 80 degrees? a dream come true. Truly, it would be for my husband and I the equivalent of sending a couple kids into a candy store. And since Octavian is such a nature lover, he would love it too.
Unfortunately, a work obligation for dear husband today and fully booked hotels in the park (there are only 3) brought us back to Earth. Plus, at nearly 8 hours away, Octavian would not be too happy.
Before having a baby, I would have happily slept in the car, however, my spontaneity has decreased. Mostly because, well, I have a toddler and, most importantly, I need (NEED!) sleep.
So no super bloom for us this year. BUT, the next one? We will be there! But, if you aren't too far from Death Valley, go. GO GO GO! If you're not into wildflowers (who are you?) then I highly recommend visiting any other time of the year.
Wait, no. That's a lie. Unless you like feeling like you're on fire, winter is the best time.
Have any of you been to Death Valley National Park? Have you seen a super bloom? Please tell me it's awful.
In other news, we have soup.
You guys, this soup is for my mouth what the super bloom is for my eyeballs. Soooo goood.
While I have a habit of making things spicy, I chose to leave this soup mild. The flavors were so perfect, I didn't want to confuse my tastebuds and distract from the freshness of the soup. You've got creamy avocado, juicy chicken, sweet tomatoes, and spicy green onion. So fresh and delicious, my friends. Oh yes, and let's not forget the zucchini. The zucchini makes this a complete meal. Serve with some buttery bread and dinner is DONE.
Super easy. And super HEALTHY!
Chicken, Avocado + Zucchini Soup with Lime
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Approximately 6 servings
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3-4 zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt + pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 medium avocados, peeled, cored and diced
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add yellow onion, shallots and diced jalapenos. Stirring frequently, sauté for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Mix in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly.
Add chicken broth, fresh tomatoes, zucchini, ground cumin, salt and pepper (and chicken if uncooked). Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for approximately 10 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked). Remove lid and add pre-cooked shredded chicken, green onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding avocado to the pot just before serving.
Serve with sour cream, cheese, and additional cilantro or green onion, if desired.