No Soup For You
Apr. 1, 2011 12:01 pm
Updated: Apr. 2, 2011 9:34 am
Or should that topic actually be "ONLY soup for you"? Things are getting pretty interesting around here in the food preparation department. Most of what we have left on hand is frozen soups - Butternut Squash, French Onion, Creamy Tomato, Ham and Navy
Bean - all good stuff, but enough is enough! Luckily (not sure that's really the right word), its been poouring rain in the greater Seattle area for days on end and a nice hot soup after a long day is pretty comforting.
My cleaning lady, who does not cook, was nice enough to take home a number of things from my freezer when she was here last week. She tells me that her girls are ecstatic to have something "new" to eat. I guess they are sick of hot dogs. I actually rather
enjoy a good hot dog now and then. Perhaps, a Kobe Beef Hot Dog on a homemade bun with some Coleslaw. I think I've just decided on tonight's dinner...not gourmet, but still comforting. I'm pretty sure I've got a sweet potato to make some fries with too.
Better get to work on that roll dough asap.
Its only one week until the movers come to pack up everything we own for the big move to the desert. Will I miss the rain? I think not...at least until August when its well over 100 degrees and my body will be wondering why in the heck I've moved to such
a dry, hot place. My partner in crime and I have been spending our days going thru closets, pawning furniture and belongings off on friends and strangers.
This week, we cleaned out the pantry and made a huge donation to the local food bank. Naturally, it was pouring rain the day we stopped by to make the drop off. It was "shopping" day at the food bank and I was absolutely amazed at the long lines. We live
in a little town in the mountains outside of Seattle, not the "big city". You never really think too much about poverty in our idyllic little town. But its everywhere. We are very lucky to have what we have and I am thankful for that everyday.
I will post one of my soup recipes later in the day...perhaps...Creamy Tomato Soup. Its easy and very tasty...and always better after the second day or so. And I can tell you from personal experience, it freezes beautifully. Pair it with a Grilled Cheese
sandwich or a fresh salad and you've got a wonderful early spring (make that winter still for most of us despite what the calendar says) dinner in no time.
Time to put together that dough for my hot dog buns tonight.
Later that day (4pm pacific):
Well...the day did not pan out as I had hoped, so its steak (thawing now), Mushroom Mac and Cheese (also direct from the freezer) and a tossed salad for dinner tonight. The day got away from me and the rolls did not happen. But I digress...here's the
Creamy Tomato Soup recipe, as promised:
In a soup pot, dutch oven or other large saucepan, start with 1/4 lb of Bacon or Pancetta - diced and cooked until crispy - you can use a little Olive oil to get it started, or just let it render its own fat. Set aside to drain.
1 large sweet onion (or whatever onions you prefer - spanish, red, etc) - diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced - I prefer to use the inner more tender stalks in this soup as the ingredients will be pureed and the more tender stalks work better for that
Saute the onion, carrot and celery in a few teaspoons of butter, olive oil or the rendered bacon fat until they begin to carmellize a bit. You don't want them to completely brown, but a bit of carmelization adds depth to the finished soup. Add
4 cloves of garlic (use more or less to your taste) - finely diced to the mixture after the other veggies have begun to sweat.
Stir in 1/4 cup of Flour and cook with the veggie mixture for a couple of minutes. Be sure and let this cook for a bit making a roux that will thicken the soup, nothing worse than the taste and texture of uncooked flour in your soup.
Add a 28 ounce can of San Marzano Tomatoes. The tomatoes can be whole peeled, diced, crushed - whatever you have but I suggest that you definitely go with San Marzano and not "regular" tomatoes. They are totally worth the couple of extra
Add 4-5 cups of chicken stock or broth (I prefer homemade, but canned or boxed low sodium is just fine). You want to be sure its low sodium because you will want to control the amount of salt in your soup...you don't want the saltiness of
the stock to affect your soup.
Toss in 1 Tblsp fresh Parsley, 1 tsp of dried Thyme, 1 Bay Leaf, 2 tsp Kosher Salt and
freshly gound Black Pepper, to taste.
Let the soup cook for as little as 30 minutes or as long as a couple of hours. Remove the Bay Leaf. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend the soup to the consistency of your choice. You can use a food processor or blender at
this stage in leiu of the immersion blender. Its just a whole lot messier and makes way too many dishes to wash for my taste. :-)
Add 1 cup of Heavy Cream (or whole milk, half and half, or ?? to your taste). We all know how much I love creamy things, so for me, its heavy cream for the rich velvety texture that we all love. Heat the cream through. Toss in the
crisped Bacon or Pancetta. Stir and serve.
Now that I've typed that...I am hungry for soup. But, just for tonight...NO SOUP FOR ME!