Monday, October 8, 2007
the perfect study partner
when you're sick, that is. Yes, I'm talking about soup. Good, old-fashioned, soup. Sunday morning witnessed bread-baking (oatmeal-bulghur, one of my favorites for its crunchy bits of bulghur, comforting oats, and fantastic crust), two stocks, and a soup from one of those stocks. Above is early in my morning - the bread rising in the background, and the mushroom stock for this week's risotto simmering away. It was just so pretty with the red onions and the fresh sage from the garden.
I do love to get up early on a Sunday morning and make stocks and bread. The stocks warm the house up (I also like to pretend that there's a need for this. Oh, I can't wait for winter, I miss my foggy mornings) so the bread can rise, and Cass always wakes up (eventually/finally) to ask, "Hey, what smells so good?" It's like a nice big house hug. And hugs of all types are nice when one is sniffly and sore-throated and head-achey and generally feeling rather pessimistic about the near future.
I had some vegetables I had to use up yesterday, so I thought I'd share an experiment that turned out delicious: potato-mustard soup. It was more like creamed mustard greens when I was done, but still - Cass and I devoured all of the small pot in one sitting.
Stock: Simmer about 8 c water with vegetables (1 red onion, peeled and cut into six wedges; two garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife; about 4-6 oz baby carrots) and herbs (I used a good 5-6 inch sprig of rosemary, two smaller sprigs of marjoram, and several small sprigs of thyme). Cook until about 4-6 c. of liquid remain. Strain out vegetables and herbs and set aside.
In same pot (sans stock), saute one shallot, chopped, and one red onion, chopped, with thyme and 2 Tbl (approx) of olive oil until onions/shallots are softened, about 5-7 min over medium heat. Return strained broth to pan and add 4 small potatoes (baby red potatoes, small yukon gold, peruvian purple, whatever you've got), chopped, to the pan. Simmer until potatoes are softened, about 20 min.
Pour soup base into blender and puree. Set aside.
Rinse soup pan and fill with water. Bring to a boil. Add one bunch mustard greens, stems removed, and boil for about 10-15 min or until a bright green (the longer you boil, the softer the flavour, but the lower the nutrients!).
Drain mustard greens and chop. Return chopped greens to pan with pureed soup base, add several good pinches (or shakes, in my case!) of crushed red pepper, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan if your doctor hasn't put you on a 30-day no-dairy sensitivity test diet (rats). I can vouch that it's darn good without, too!
enjoy over homework, and regain energy and pep for the rest of your day!