the grub street diet

Caroline Goldfarb Is Doing Two Soups in One Day

“Strega Nona core is very much my vibe for 2024, being old in spirit and hunched over a pot.”

Goldfarb, whose cabbage soup recipe is “like a hot wet salad, which sounds gross but it’s so comforting.” Illustration: Sarah Kilcoyne
Goldfarb, whose cabbage soup recipe is “like a hot wet salad, which sounds gross but it’s so comforting.” Illustration: Sarah Kilcoyne

Caroline Goldfarb is the rarest kind of multidisciplinary: the co-founder of the shoppy-shop-favorite tinned-fish brand Fishwife, a writer and producer of The Sex Lives of College Girls, and her friends’ most vocal Sweetgreen evangelist. “I’m a die-hard Sweetgreen girlie,” Goldfarb says. “They’ve been through so many eras, and I’ve been there for all of ’em. We’re currently in the protein-plate era, and I’m not really about it — I like my classics.”

Saturday, January 6
My day always starts with coffee, and I’m a very high-maintenance coffee drinker. I got high one time and went into an internet K-hole where I found that most coffee is full of mold and pesticides, and since then I’ve been more mindful of where I get my coffee from. I buy blonde espresso beans from a weird website with a LOT of pop-ups, but the coffee tastes great.

I do a shot of espresso, some hot water, and a healthy splash of homemade almond/oat milk that I make every week in my Almond Cow nut-milk maker, which I impulse bought in 2019 and have used every week since. You can make any kind of nut milk in it. The recipe book had corn milk! I do an oat-almond blend. I cannot drink store-bought almond milk. I find it fucking wretched. Same with store-bought oat milk. Every oat milk has added sugar and is loaded with canola oil. I can’t drink it. I won’t drink it. Once you try homemade nut milk, there’s just no going back.

Then I also do a small splash of coconut milk to make the coffee really creamy. Esther Povitsky, my former Glowing Up podcast cohost, taught me about Aroy-D coconut milk. It’s so legit and thick. A little goes a long way. I top it all off with some organic cinnamon (Costco) and four drops of vanilla stevia. Why am I like this?

I meet my friend P for a walk and we stop at Maru Coffee so I can get a matcha americano. I love matcha and I think Maru has the best in L.A., not to mention the Maru line is a who’s who of the hottest people in town. We have too much fun scoping the talent in line and then make our way to the restaurant All Time for lunch.

I’m not super hungry so I get their Good Ass Salad (the actual menu name). I’m a huge salad freak. The Good Ass Salad, surely a descendant of the big salad from Seinfeld, is one of my favorite salads in town. It’s just nice lettuce, apples, radishes, pumpkin seeds, and a beautiful lemony dressing. It’s gigantic, super dependable, and always hits.

After lunch, I head to my nephew’s birthday party at a children’s entertainment center in the valley, with all the classics: ball pits and slides. I have a bag of ranch-flavored veggie sticks from the snack table. I eat them while watching my baby nephew have a blast in the ball pit and catching up on family gossip.

My car is a big snacking zone. It’s a great setup: I have a Mary Poppins–esque tote bag where I keep a bunch of my favorite snacks. I reach back into the tote and grab a pack of lemony herb lupini beans from a brand I’ve been loving called Superlupes.

I get home and read a few chapters of the Madonna biography, which I’m enjoying. I’m learning a lot about her — too much. Honestly, it’s so detailed. I didn’t need to get this granular into Madonna’s life, but now I can’t stop. I’m like, What did she eat on February 6, 1986? Great. I’m sure I would love to know, What did she say in a phone call to fucking Warren Beatty in 1989? Cool. Why not? It’s truly Infinite Jest length, and I can’t put it down.

For dinner I’m craving take out from Carousel. It’s one of my favorite Mediterranean spots. The main attraction for me is of course a salad: their green cabbage salad. I dream about it, truly a god-tier salad for me. It’s so unbelievably flavorful, tangy, lemony, packed with perfectly shredded green cabbage. I can pack a LOT down in one sitting. I get mine with a chicken-breast kabob and garlic sauce, sort of an elevated Zankou Chicken experience. While I eat, I watch a weird French black-and-white movie.

After dinner, I read a little more Madonna on the couch with my Stanley cup while I catch up on my group chat specifically dedicated to The Holdovers star and absolute babe Dominic Sessa. For dessert, I slam an Everydaze collagen packet in the pomegranate flavor. I do not know how they make it. I don’t want the details. There’s a whole scientific explanation about the molecule size. I don’t care. I just think they taste so good.

Sunday, January 7
For breakfast I have some hard-boiled eggs that I soaked in Omsom’s spicy mala sauce. I love a marinated hard-boiled egg, and these are so spicy and delicious. Would be great sliced on some avocado toast but I eat them plain, like an animal.

Then, I get ready for a Los Angeles classic, the hike date. I couldn’t just wake up and show up for the hike. I have to look cute but don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard (a classic indicator of trying really hard). My matching fit is giving “stepmother from the Parent Trap” vibes. I fill up my hiking water bottle, which is different from my home water bottle, of course, and head out. The hike is way more challenging than I’d anticipated. For a hike date, I prefer it to be a no-incline, shaded stroll. This is unfortunately more of a climb, so I have to really fight through panting, sweating, dry mouth, burning quads to still look good and look cute and give off “I love to exercise” energy, but I’m completely exhausted by the time it’s over.

Tonight is the Golden Globes and I’m having some people over, so I have to present a snack spread. I go to Trader Joe’s, undisputed grocery-store-snack champion. I follow lots of weird unofficial Trader Joe’s TikTok accounts that curate the best products, and one of them recommends the Umami Crunchies, which I hadn’t tried, and these are a new favorite. I get their Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips (Taki dupes, a 10/10), their sour jelly beans (really good and sour), and their candy-coated peanuts (like a dark-chocolate M&M dupe). I attempted a Dry January for candy, but this T.J.’s run pretty much ends that.

I plan (and snack shop) for a party of ten people, but everyone cancels except my friends Ben and Michael. They order dinner from Sapp Coffee Shop, which is a really good hole-in-the-wall Thai place, but I’m craving a salad after my healthy day so I order Sweetgreen. I spring for my old reliable, the Harvest Bowl, double dressing, always.

It’s a weed and snacking night and a lot of screaming at Jo Koy while he hosts the Golden Globes. I don’t envy him, but watching him bomb makes me stress eat the T.J.’s M&Ms. As a writer and someone who worked in late night, seeing him blame his writers — that’s such a no-no.

Monday, January 8
Coffee again. I’m working on a new film project, so I spend a lot of time outlining and writing. For brunch, I have some leftover cabbage veggie soup in my fridge. It’s a very healthy soup that I make a GINORMOUS batch of every January. The recipe is from 2014 from a now-defunct website called xoJane (RIP, I miss you everyday), so the only form it exists in is this Google Doc I copy pasted the recipe into. It’s got garlic, onions, celery, mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers, tons of cabbage, in a broth I make out of tomato paste and veggie broth. It’s like a hot wet salad, which sounds gross but it’s so comforting. Strega Nona core is very much my vibe for 2024, being old in spirit and hunched over a pot. The soup brings anxiety because it yields an endless amount, much like Strega Nona, if I’m remembering the plot correctly.

Enjoy my soup while I’m watching Yentl. I am working on improving my Barbra media diet as I listen to the 40-plus hours of her memoir. It is an absolute delight of a movie, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Drag myself away from the movie to meet my friend Sarah for a walk around the Silver Lake reservoir. In the car, I reach back into my Mary Poppins bag for another car snack. Today’s is a Turkey Pepperoni Chomp, which essentially is an Erewhon-ified Slim Jim. They gross some people out but I love them.

Walk in the door from the walk, and it’s time for the second soup of the day. I call this one BEAN SOUP. It’s literally two ingredients and the easiest thing to make, and it’s one of my favorite comfort meals. The night before, I soak dry beans in water. I love all beans, but for bean soup I use pinto beans or kidney beans. In the morning I put my soaked beans in my slow cooker on HIGH. Covered by a lot of water. That’s it. Eight to ten hours later the beans should be sort of broken down and in their own juicy bean broth. I violently mash them up and, depending on how it tastes, let them cook a little longer. The perfect bean soup should be sort of like a brothy refried-bean consistency.

When you serve it you must douse your bean soup in good olive oil, and tons of fresh lemon juice and some flaky salt. And ideally serve it with a piece of crusty bread. I always feel like a turn-of-the-century pioneer woman when I eat bean soup, but I always crave it. As a bonus it costs like $1 a serving.

Tuesday, January 9
I wake up feeling sick, which I secretly love because being sick provides an excuse to sit on my couch and watch TV and snuggle under blankets. I am just sick enough to know that I can nest all day without feeling guilty or unproductive.

I double mask and head to Lazy Acres, which is my new favorite supermarket in Los Feliz, to pick up provisions. It’s like a cross between Whole Foods and Erewhon. It’s owned by Bristol Farms and is supposed to be like their young-and-fun little-sister brand, the PB Teen to their Pottery Barn, if you will.

I curl up and drink a ton of Zoup brand shelf-stable bone broth. Don’t know if shelf-stable bone broth is actually a real thing. They say if bone broth isn’t like the consistency of Jell-O, it’s missing the collagen that makes it so healthy. We need a Brodo-type bone broth place in L.A. — someone start that business! I chug a bunch of orange juice and eat orange slices. I also take a bunch of these pills that I learned about on Poosh. They’re called Gaia Quick Defense — you take them when you’re getting sick. My friend Beth calls them my witch pills and I swear by them.

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