Posts Tagged ‘soup’

After breakfast, May and I schlepped around the town, running random errands and spending some time outside. It’s a raw blustery day — one of my favorite types of weather — and we stopped at ‘Bucks after shopping. I figure I should ‘fess up to this, since Bucks is neither local nor organic. We didn’t even remember to bring our own cups.

But I got a giant cup of hot black tea and was happy.

Shopping is a big part of my food philosophy so I should say that I picked up tea (green, black, and blueberry) while I was out at Shaw’s, as well as 2 lb. of butter. Cabot, which is local-ish. I also went to Kick-Ass Cupcakes’s Dairy Bar and bought local cheddar, and hit my own garden to pick a mess o’ greens for dinner.

By the time we arrived home, I was chilled and tired and immediately nixed my original lunch plans for the perfect blustery-day lunch: soup.

(BTW, the chicken stock is still bubbling away. I know I ought not leave stock on the simmer while I’m out, but I like stock and I can’t spend 8 hours at home tending it. If you’re less blase about fire risks than I am, you can get out your stock pot and do it that way.)

Soup was simple enough: 20 minutes of washing and chopping leeks, carrots, celery, and potatoes, (from Drumlin Farm and our CSA), saute the aromatics in olive oil, add the last bit of my last batch of stock, toss in potatoes, soem herbs, and sit down to read a book for 20 minutes.

May and I had leek and potato soup with apples and slices of honey-wheat bread. I made the bread yesterday.

After we ate our fill, I ladled the leftover soup into mason jars — three pint jars and on quart jar — and put them in the fridge. There’s lunch taken care of for all of us until Wednesday or Thursday, at least.

Now I’m taking a break to do other non-cooking things and contemplate just how long I need to brine a frigging 6 lb. chicken?


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On a whim the other day I picked up a copy of Soups and Stews by Cook’s Illustrated. Not the book, but the one-off magazine that’s on stands nowish. I’ve read most of these recipes before but I was going to be on the T for a while and needed something to read. Happily, there was at least one recipe I’d never seen before and I’m glad I picked it up.

Heart Vegetable Soup.

Normally, anything with that title is a tomato-based soup and my husband can’t stand tomatoes. This, however, was seemingly tailored for a big CSA winter share. I’ll reproduce it below, with my notes to follow.

from Cook’s Illustrated Winter 2010 Soups and Stews, page 26

2 T vegetable oil
3 large carrots, 3/4 inch dice
2 large parsnips, 3/4 inch dice
2 small onion, minced
6 medium cloves of garlic, pressed
2 q. chicken broth
2 medium russet potatoes, cubes 1 inch
2 t. thyme, minced
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 slices hearth white bread, toasted
1 can cannellini beans
1 10-oz package of baby lima beans or peas, frozen
2 cups of curly spinach, stemmed and chopped
balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook carrots, parsnips and onions until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the broth, potatoes, and herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Remove and discover the rosemary and bay. Remove 3 c. solids and 1 cup broth and add that, and the bread, to a food processor and buzz until smooth. Stir puree back in and add spinach, beans, and lima beans. Cook until spinach is tender, about 10 minutes. Add in a splash of vinegar, season, and serve.

My notes:

This is a really sweet soup. At least it’s been for me. I think that may be because the carrots are somewhere between enormous and bad sex-toy jokes, and they are sweet as candy. I added in some turnips, hoping they would tone down the sugar somewhat, but no joy. I will add more turnips next time. I’m also contemplating putting in one of the two celeriacs I still have.

I used kale from last share, starting to get a little limp, rather than spinach. The kale was fantastic.

I didn’t have any cannelini beans and I loathe lima beans like a root canal, so I didn’t add either. I didn’t miss the lima beans, but the cannelini beans would have been a welcome addition. All those carbs needed some protein.

So, as I watch my pile of root vegetables grow enormously, I gotta ask — what are you ladies doing with yours?

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After-party soup

Farmwives are thrifty.

At some point, during the holiday season, you will find yourself in the presence of the leftovers of a party. Don’t throw them away. Look at them with the farmwife’s eye and think about what you can make.

Here’s a recipe I concocted looking at some recent leftovers.

Take the carrots and the celery off the crudite platter and dice them with some onion. Saute in butter until transluscent, add some minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then pour in a bottle of that leftover beer and some chicken stock. Stir until it’s boiling and turn towards those chunks of cheese left over from the cheese-and-cracker platter. Grate the cheese in your food processor first, with a tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir the grated cheese in one handful at a time, stirring until it melts.

Viola! Cheese soup! Good with toast (those leftover pieces of little party bread, maybe?).

If you have some broccoli left on the crudite platter, blanch that in boiling water for 2 minutes, then shock in ice water, then chop into fine pieces and add to the soup. Viola! Cheese and broccoli soup.

My delightful FIL says I should be a scavange cook at a soup kitchen. High praise, from him.

Ladies, what’s your favorite scavenger recipe?

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Switching my weekly menu

I used to have two aunts, The Aunts, who were old-school homemakers, back when you could get a Masters degree in homemaking. I wish I’d had enough sense to grill them when they were alive because I feel certain they could have taught me some things.

One of the things that they did was have a meal for every night of the week. Which meant that on Fridays, they had hamburgers and iceberg-lettuce salads, and on Mondays they had (I think) spaghetti, etc. I’ve never been able to do that, but I have adopted the idea and adapted it for my own use.  Instead of having a strict schedule, per se, I tend to have a rhythm.

Since Jen was speaking of that recently, I thought I’d let you know what I do.

Monday, I like soup. Fast soup, not long-simmered braises. Often lentils with bacon sprinkled on top. Sometimes butternut squash soup. Occasionally, if I’ve thought ahead, bean soup, like pasta fagioli.

Tuesdays, on the way home from preschool, I pick up some sort of pasta from Dave’s Fresh. Usually some sort of ravioli — often butternut squash in the fall or sweet pea in the spring — but not always. Served with some sort of green, maybe some bread, it’s a pretty good dinner. Sometimes, I do carbonara. I love carbonara and have the waistline to prove it.

On Wednesdays in the fall, I get lamb sausage from Marianne and roast some orange vegetable (sweet potato or winter squash).

On Thursdays, Wang’s Fast Food delivers. Sometimes, RedBones delivers.

Weekends are pretty mixed around here, but autumn Sundays often find me with a long, slow braise that I start after breakfast. That braise serves for lunch for my husband for much of the week.

With the close of the Farmer’s Market, the menu shifts somewhat. It’s going to depend, I think, on the new winter CSA. I didn’t buy nearly enough lamb sausage to keep that going throughout the winter, so I’ll need a new Wednesday meal. (Lamb sausage may be making an appearance in the lentil stew, though, because it’s actually cheaper than the local bacon I can buy starting in a week or so.)  I think I may try to add a homemade pizza on Friday nights, with lots of veggies and a salad. If I do that, though, I’m going ot have to find Lourde’s mozzarella or start making my own. I’ve got a book on how to do that….

I may add a torta to the lentil soup, too. And maybe I’ll stretch the braise by putting it in a pot pie on Sundays. I’ll let you know.



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