Tag Archives: soup

Gold in them there Gourds

Because,

if you’re house-sitting the week of Halloween and have already been displaced so you’re at your ancestral home but 2/3’s of your stuff is at your former dwelling where the fire was AND you’ll be moving in November….did I mention it was the day before HALLOWEEN…..then you should definitely give into the temptation to buy, not one, but 2 giant and rather unattractive ‘decorative gourds’.

But they were substantial and hefty and the price was right – and they had the promise of being tasty culinary gold.

And after Halloween ALL the Gourds and Pumpkins  will be

GONE

Gone gone gone. As if they had never been here at all; as if there was no need for a Pumpkin or a Gourd in Winter. Winter is for Squash, alone.

Poor squash. Alone, poor lonely squash.

pumpkin 2015

They actually looked quite a bit like this, a Speckled Hound variety, but there were more warts.

amygoldmancompleat squash

SOMEWHERE I have a copy of this book, which has everything you could want to know about squash and pumpkins between it’s covers.  But think I learned well. Thank you, Amy G.!

The upside is that not only have they been decorative, but once I had time to hack, seed, peel and cook one……I have over 10 pounds of delicious golden squash/pumpkin/gourd (because they’re different names for essentially the same thing) .

You can’t freeze squash or pumpkin without cooking it first (consider the water content – you’ve seen this on front steps everywhere you look every year around a Halloween frost). Keep them indoors where the frost doesn’t go and you have much more lee-way. When the weather is cool  – and this week has been downright cold, and windy and rainy/snowy/sleety – it’s a perfect excuse to keep the oven going, as you roast it up to store in the freezer.

My excuse to keep the oven on and the kitchen toasty on an otherwise far too gray a day . Like John Alden, I shall speak for myself.

In typical fashion, the first quarter of the pumpkin took more  (or at least as much) time as the last three quarters.  I weighed the seeds and peelings when done – a little over 5 pounds. I wasn’t particularly wasteful; it really was that big.

I did have the option of roasting it whole, which I did once several years ago to a giant Blue Hubbard, Hubbard being my Dad’s favorite. That squash had been used for decorative purpose, and I saved it from the Dumpster. It was a carry in both arms /bigger then a big baby big.

Hubbard_squash

Blue Hubbard

I actually brought it to the ancestral home, poked it with an ice pick (evidently the real reason that that was still hanging around. Even though we called it an ‘ice box’ it was an up to date Frigidaire, frost free and everything) and put Baby Blue on the biggest baking sheet in the house and put it in the oven for a couple of hours until it was all  schlumpy. When it was cool enough, we used the stainless steel serving spoons to break in, separate the gold from the skin and the seeds and packed the gold  into baggies. Lots and lots of baggies. Which we stored in the freezer until there was need for gold. And it got us both through the better part of the winter.

But if you roast a squash or pumpkin whole, you end up with pulpy pulp, and I wanted to hold onto a little more structure/texture.

My new kitchen has 4 windows, so I set my cutting board on the table and was able to watch the dogs walking their people on the green, and cars coming and going at the street corner and the sun moving on the  horizon….I was also paying attention to the big knife that is necessary to cut a big squash…and my knives are home! Knives are sharp. No wounds to report.

Cut the giant in half.

Seed with the ice cream scoop. Seriously the right tool for the job.

Ice+Cream+Scoop

Ice cream scoop/pumpkin seed scoop – a multi-tasker!

Cut into whatever shapes make it possible to peel, peel, peel.

Toss with a little oil, sprinkle with a little salt, spread out on a baking sheet and pop into a 375° oven until it’s done…..20-40 minutes – poke it with a fork, you’ll know.

pumpkinNimono_of_japanese_pumpkin_2014

This is what it looks like coming out of the oven. You can eat it just like this. While humming happy food songs.

Some I ate off the roasting pan as it came out of the oven….lunch.

  • I kept  three of the chopped pounds to add to an equal amount of potatoes for slow cooker  for Squash and Potato with Rosemary that I’ve made before.

 

Italian slow cooker book

  • I’m going to use some of the leftovers of this to make a version of the squash and potato soup. I’ll puree the already cooked veg mix with the broth, and since I’ve already seasoned with rosemary I might leave the sage out. Note to self: Next time cook squash and potato with sage instead of rosemary.
  • Some of the squash/potato mixture will be mixed with eggs and fried in olive oil, a golden and easy fritatta. I fried a chopped shallot in some olive oil, added a little more oil, put the egg/potato/pumpkin in. When the bottom was browned, lowered the heat, put a lid on it and waited impatiently for it to be done.I had thought to sprinkle a little cheese over, but I forget and it was LOVELY.A glass of pear cider and a greens salad with pecans and blue cheese dressing made up the rest of that supper.
  • Some will be thinned with a little broth (or wine) and mixed with some hot macaroni, I’m thinking some hot pepper to season that…

Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee has another version of Squash Mac and Cheese that I’ll be trying with freezer gold.

Gold updates  as they occur.

 

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Making Sunday Soupier

Because I work in a place with a garden, I sometimes score some lovely produce…..like beets.

Great, big, red, big, really large beets.I know that beets aren’t for everyone, and that means…more beets for me!

Beets will keep for quite a while, especially the big ones, especially in the back of the fridge. Although, being these were very large big beets – I’m talking nothing smaller then a pound, most around 2 – pounds, that is – and several checking in at 3 – they were hard to forget and get lost in the back of the dark cold place. I’ve been pulling out the smaller ones, one by one throughout December, but a nice beet soup was defiantly in my future. I’ve long been intrigued by borscht and other sorts of beety soups, maybe since Moosewood Cookbook, which has a vegetarian borscht, variation of which I’ve made in the past.

moosewoodBUT

new year, new recipes and when Bon Appetit had not only a Get Healthy headline and a recipe for Beet Caraway Soup,

Bon Appetit January 2015 New Years Cleanse and Big Batch cooking

Bon Appetit January 2015
New Year Healthy and Big Batch cooking – of BEETS

I had to think, Why don’t I pick up Bon Appetit more often? and Beets AND Big Batch Cooking, I’m soooo in !

Detroit Red  beet from Burpee Seed catalog

Detroit Red beet from Burpee Seed catalog – these are probably fist sized or slightly larger – maybe 1/2 pound a piece. A three pound beet – bigger – cradle in your arm big.

To get to the  Get Healthy  part of the story (with the menus and the shopping list and the pantry list), you have to go to the Bon Appetit website, which 1) isn’t the magazine and 2) has lots of moving parts and is an exercise in (I accidentally wrote ‘stupidity’ instead of ‘futility’, but stupidity isn’t completely wrong) exasperation , because there are links within links and for heaven’s sake, YOU ARE A MAGAZINE, PUT IT ON PAPER. LAYOUT IS IMPORTANT AND POPUPS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.

I went back more then once, on different days and I may never go back there again, which is a pity because beneath the flash and dazzle jumpiness, which may pass as edgy, but comes off as far to much caffeine, there a a really good recipe data base. Just not for me.

And the Big Batch stuff serves four. FOUR. That’s right, 4. I may not be good with numbers, but 4 is a batch, no big. For Big it should be 6-8 ; a Crowd should serve 8-12, all of which are smaller numbers then what show in my mother’s church cookbook from 1968.

Now I’m remembering why I don’t pick up BA as often as I used to……because we live in very different worlds.

BUT…. to steam-roast a big batch of beets…first, I made the batch bigger.

BIG BATCH STEAM ROASTED BEETS

4-6  pounds beets

2 Tbl olive oil

1 sprig rosemary or several sprigs fresh thyme or 2 bay leaves

1/4 cup water

  1. If the beets are very large (over 1 #) or uneven sizes, peel and cut to make them the same size.If you have a bunch and they’re pretty uniform, wash and trim the tops and tails and you can peel them after. If you have large ones, peel them now. The red will wash off your hands, I promise.
  2. Put them in a large heavy bottom pot/Dutch oven.
  3. Add the oil and toss all around.
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Put in the herbs and the water.
  6. Cover tightly.
  7. At this point you can put it in a 425° oven OR
  8. Put it on the stove top on high.
  9. Stir every now and again.You want the roasty/searing thing, not burning – adjust accordingly.
  10. Beets are done when a knife pierces easily – 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the beets and their age (and whether or not it was a dry or wet season when they were growing).
  11. Cool. They’ll keep at least 3 days in a covered container in the fridge. They can be used as is in salads, or in smoothies or soups.

adapted from Bon Appetit January 2015

Now for the soup.

BEET  SOUP with caraway

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 medium onion

1 leek

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 # cooked beets

2 cups buttermilk, more for serving

cracked pepper (for serving)

  1. Chop the onion and slice the leek.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add caraway seeds and cook, stirring, until they start to pop and dance around in the pan, about 1 minute.
  4. Add onion, leek, and a little water to keep seeds from burning; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5–7 minutes.
  6. Add beets and 4 cups water to pan.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15–20 minutes.everything should be pretty soft.
  8. Let mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender in 2 batches, adding 1 cup buttermilk to each batch. Gently heat soup, adding water to adjust consistency if needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  9. Serve drizzled with buttermilk  and more cracked pepper.

adapted from Bon Appetit Jan 2015

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Another Souper Sunday

It started with a leek….

Well, there’s almost never just one of them….

Leeks in the garden - some are flowering and forming seed heads - this is not the optimal time to harvest them. Looks like August to me. If you plant them in September, you can eat them all winter, you just have to wait for the ground to thaw to harvest them. Or plant them in a hoop house. They grow in the cold, just slowly.

Leeks in the garden – some are flowering and forming seed heads – this is not the optimal time to harvest them. Looks like August to me. If you plant them in September, you can eat them all winter, you just have to wait for the ground to thaw to harvest them. Or plant them in a hoop house. They grow in the cold, just slowly.

except sometimes in a painting

Still Life with Copper Pan - and one leek - Jean-Simeon Chardin - 18th century

Still Life with Copper Pan – and one leek – Jean-Simeon Chardin – 18th century

I had thought to make the bright green leek soup that had been in the New York Times last Wednesday.

leek soup NYT Jan 2015 07KITCH-articleLarge

This just looks so fresh and GREEN…so I went looking for leeks a the Farmer’s Market

I found leeks at the Farmer’s Farmer’s Market, and of course, couldn’t remember anything else that was in the soup…it was fresh spinach, but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see any of that. Fresh pea shoots, yes, and fresh other greens, but not spinach.

Since the Soups of Italy was still out on the table…and the Ancient Romans ate leeks  or porri I was sure there’d be at least one recipe.

I was surprised that there was this one, that judging from the smudges I have made at least once, that I had no memory of making at all.   And if you can see something in your mind’s eye, can you taste something in your mind’s eye, can you taste something in your mind’s mouth? Anyhow, it looked like it would taste good.

AND

I already had everything on hand – no need to go out in the cold for a grocery run!

This week’s soup:

Minestra di Patate e Porri

Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredienti:


Potatoes – 1-1 ½ #

Leeks – 2 #

Broth – 5-6 cups (or water)

Fettucinne – 6 oz dried/12 oz fresh

Bacon (2 strips smoky), water, butter, oil, celery rib, onion, garlic, sage leaves, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Elementi:

Sapori

2 strips smoky bacon

1 # potatoes

1 # leeks

Salt

  1. In large heavy bottom pan, cook the bacon over medium high heat.
  2. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes. (Save the peels for broth making)
  3. Rinse and thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leeks.
  4. When the bacon strips are crispy, remove from the pot and put aside. Add the potato and leeks to the bacon grease and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Mix everything well and then add enough water to cover.
  6. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot, keeping to a simmer, for 30 minutes. A hard boil is going to make the potatoes pasty, as in wall-paper paste pasty, so keep the heat gentle throughout.
  7. When they are cooled somewhat, puree them before adding them to the soup pot, although I often forget this step and have never regretted it. The potatoes are pretty cooked down and the leeks soft and lovely, and the back of a wooden spoon breaks things down and keeps things interesting at the same time.

Battuto

1 # leeks

1 medium onion

1 celery rib

1 garlic clove

2-4 sage leaves

1 Tbl butter

2 Tbl oil

  1. Rinse well and thinly slice the 2nd pound of leeks, white and light green parts.
  2. Finely dice together the onion, the celery rib, the garlic clove and the sage leaves.
  3. Heat the oil and butter together in a heavy bottom soup pot. Add the leeks and the diced onion, celery, garlic and sage. Give them about 5 minute a few quick stirs until things softens and get fragrant.

Brodo

5-6 cups broth

  1. Add the broth to the pot. Add the cooked potato and leeks to the pot. Stir everything well. Bring to a gentle simmer, and keep partially covered at a simmer for 30 minutes.

Condimenti

6 oz dried fettuccine or 12 oz fresh, cut into 2” pieces

¼ C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cooked bacon, crumbled

  1. Put on a pot of salted water to cook the pasta – OK – reality check –IF you are going to serve and gobble down every last drop of this soup in the next hour or so, by all means, drop your store-boughten boxed dried little noodles bits into the soup and serve away….but IF you went to the bother of making noodles or the expense of buying fresh, take the time and trouble to boil them separately, and IF you’re looking at more soup then will be eaten at one meal and will have a leftover plan, then boil them separately. The combination of long cooked potatoes and cooled down pasta leads to a fairly nasty blob of starchy food-like-stuff by the time it cools down. If on the other hand, you have no interest in flavor or texture, just calories when you eat, I can’t imagine why you’re reading recipes in the first place and there are plenty of cans and containers of things on the grocery store shelves that you can heat in the microwave and eat directly from in less time than it took you to read this far. But it takes all kinds, and there’s room for everyone at the table who will please observe the Clean Hands/Clean Behavior Rule.
  2. Back to the recipe- put a pot of water on to boil, cook the fettuccine al dente, drain well.
  3. Add the fettuccine to the soup.
  4. Serve the soup with the grated cheese and crumbled bacon.

4-6 servings.

Adapted from Minestra di Lasagnette e Porri in Soups of Italy, pp. 170-1.

Soups of Italy

Soups of Italy

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Summer, Squashed

Zucchini

Zucchini

So far this summer I’ve had fresh zucchini, fresh patty pan, fresh acorn but no fresh summer, squash.

patty or petit pan squashes

patty or petit pan squashes

Acorn squash - called 'vine apples' in 17th century England

Acorn squash – called ‘vine apples’ in 17th century England

 

What is summer without summer squash? Just in time, I was gifted 5# (and when did this become ‘hashtag’ and not ‘pound’? Or is it both?)

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Thank you, Olivia Brownlee. Olivia also sings “The Cookin’ Tune” click and love.

Back to squash, what to do, what to do?

Salad Days, Soup Nights, when Autumn is new and Winter is still far.

First the salad…..

End of Summer Cool and Hot

Squash

5 T olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 # small yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds (or one 2# Summer Squash, cut into quarters and then cut into 1/3 inch triangles)

½ cup minced tender parsley stems

Salt

2 Tablespoons grated orange zest

2-3 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

 

  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until hot. This is done in 2 batches to keep it all from becoming too soupy. Add 2 Tablespoons of the oil then add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  2. Add half the squash and half the parsley, season with salt. You want it to soften but not brown.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the orange rind, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Stir together.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoon oil to the pan and heat until hot, add the rest of the squash and parsley, season with salt and cook until softened but not brown.
  5. Add to the bowl with the first batch, toss in the rest of the orange rind, and add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust salt and red pepper. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour. May be refrigerated for up to 3 days (says him, not at my house, it doesn’t linger here that long) .

Mario Batali Molto Gusto.p.37Molto Mario

and then for the Soup Nights

END OF SUMMER HOT OR COOL SOUP

1 # brown lentils

1 large onion

1 large celery rib with leaves OR 1 smallish fennel bulb

2 medium summer squash (2#) (or zukes or patty pans)

A quart  baggie of juice left over from canning tomatoes with water to total 6 cups OR

2 large tomatoes and

6 Cups water

optional add ins – 1 or 2 carrots or 1 or 2 small turnips or maybe a potato…whatever’s lonely in the bin

1 cup ditalini, tubetti, or elbows

  1. Combine veggies and lentils in slow cooker and cook on low 7 hours.
  2. Add pasta and salt and cook on high for 30 minutes
  3. Serve hot with cheese – Parmigiano or Romano , you know what you like

AND the cool and the next day when the pasta absorbs the liquid and it’s not really soup anymore,: Frittata base!

Michele Scicolone The Italian Slow Cooker p.32. She calls it Sicilian Lentil, Vegetable and Pasta Soup

Italian slow cooker book

A little orange zest is not amiss, esp if you have any left from the other squash recipe. Or put a little zest in your coffee – it beats the heck out of Pumpkin Pie Spice Everything.

BTW :

b68a29a63204c191f20add1506dca3ac

 

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24 Carrot Gold

Exactly how  many carrots are to a pound depend on the size of the carrots, but if you have 24 lovely little carrots, or about 3 pounds (2 1/2 pounds for cooking and a 1/2 pound for snacking) you can make some carrot salad for the days that remind you that although the Dog Days are over, summer isn’t really over quite yet, and some carrot soup for the days can get chilly and tell you Fall is coming soon, just not as soon as all the pumpkin flavored everything that is available would seem to indicate.

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad, and have a little carrot nosh in the interim

CARROT SALAD

¾ cup dried chick peas or white beans

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 ½ pounds carrots

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar –wine or cider

¼ – ½ cup chopped parsley

1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Scallions OR fresh cut chives or garlic chives (you might want to omit the garlic cloves if you go this route)

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin or ground coriander

Optional –

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

And/or 1/3 cup minced fresh dill

  1. Cook the chickpeas or the beans with the garlic. Drain well.
  2. Peel the carrots, or merely scrub them well if they’re very fresh and thin skinned. Cut them into thin, flat matchstick pieces, 1½ inches long by ¼ inch wide. Steam them for 5 – 10 minutes – just tender.
  3. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  4. Combine olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices in a large bowl.
  5. Add cooked beans and mix well.
  6. Add cooked carrots and toss gently.
  7. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

4-6 servings

Adapted from Mollie Katzan. Still Life with Menu Cookbook. Ten Speed Press. 1988. pp. 157-8.Still life with Menu

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

CREAMY CARROT SOUP

2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

4 cups broth

1 cup white wine

½ cup ricotta cheese

½ teaspoon celery seed or dill seed

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook onions and garlic in butter over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add carrots and cook. Covered, another 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to sweat (the juices start to come out of them).
  3. Add broth and wine, raise heat.
  4. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until the carrots are soft.
  5. Puree mixture in a blender or a food processor.
  6. Put the puréed back in the pan over low heat and add ricotta, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Makes about 2 quarts.

From A Musical Treat: Good Food is Music for the Palate. Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteer League. 1995. p.49.This is a recipe I contributed. It’s an amalgam of several different recipes that finally became mine.

carrot blossom-Daucus_carota_May_2008-1_edit

Carrot in flower – Queen Anne’s Lace is really wild carrot. It used to be known as Bird’s Nest. Those little flower ends keep curling up as they form seeds

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Fresh Garlic Soup

This is the sort of thing that could be meatless or not, it all depends on the broth you use. In most Italian soup, you actually use water, because the flavor comes from all the things you put into the pot.

This isn’t  a strictly  Italian soup, but comes from the cookbook Food To Die For which is more or less a companion cookbook for the  Kay Scarpetta mystery series by Patrica Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta cooks Italian.

Patrica Cornwell

Patrica Cornwell

Now, there’s nothing I like better then a good mystery, especially for a Friday night. Give me a problem, some fast paced sleuthing and then: TA DA DAA: Problem Solved.  A nice break from work, a little vacation to someone else’ s world and then back to reality, all the loose ends neatly tied up. The best mysteries involve some personality, and Kay Scarpetta turns to the kitchen when things get rough, which makes her my kind of person.

Food To Die For

Food To Die For

This is a cookbook that my son gave me more then 10 years ago, and I actually cook from it quite a bit.

Cornwell  has a really nice pizza – and one should have a repertoire of pizza recipes, because one is never enough, and there’s even a grilled pizza recipe that I haven’t tried yet…maybe this summer is the grilled pizza summer…  There is also a chili that was one of the go-tos for Wednesday Chili Nights. Wait till Wednesday.

Last month, at the Rhode Island Flower Show, when I wasn’t chatting up the Fabulous Beekman Boys or Roger Swain from the Victory Garden.

Roger Swain, formerly of The Victory Garden with fanboys Brent and Josh

Roger Swain, formerly of The Victory Garden with fanboys Brent and Josh

I purchased a bag of heirloom garlics from the Landreth Seed Company booth .

Landreth Catalogue 2013_lg

There keeping their prices at 2013 levels – same catalog good for this year too!

After the woman behind the booth told me it was culinary garlic, maybe 3 0r 4 times….I assured her I had every intention of eating it and not planting, but it wasn’t until I said,”Who plants garlic in the Spring?” she knew my intentions and rang up my purchase. Then I realized if you don’t grow garlic round here, maybe you would try to plant it in the spring. I just need to eat it.

garlic line drawing

William Woodville, Medical Botany, 1793.

Fresh Garlic Soup

10 or so cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

Olive oil

Carrots – one or 2 depending on their size – grated

2 cups stock*(potato peel broth, chicken stock, beef stock – or even water – whatever is in your pantry)

Chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 egg (she uses 3 egg yolks and makes twice as much as this)

Splash of wine/sherry/beer/vinegar +sugar +water

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigianino- Reggiano cheese

Chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2 slices good bread (by good bread I mean something not so WONDERful that has nothing to add to the bowl)

  1. Two circles of olive oil around your pan, over medium heat add carrots and garlic. Stand there stirring for the 3-4 minutes for it to be tender but not brown.
  2. Add stock, thyme and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer COVERED for about half an hour.
  4. Turn off the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Moosh things around. (She tosses it into a food processor…you know where I stand on that. If I need garlic soup, I’m in no good place to face a sink full of dishes.)
  5. If you’ve got an alcoholic flavor component, splash it in now
  6. In a small bowl which together 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the egg. Add the grated cheese and mix together a little more.
  7. Gradually add ¼ cup of the hot soup to the egg/cheese/oil mixture and then add it back to the pot.
  8. Heat soup medium high, again stirring, stirring, stirring until it thickens, 8 – 10 minutes (I think). Don’t let it boil or it will curdle.
  9. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  10. Toast the bread and put a slice in each bowl. Pour the soup over. (If it curdles, you can still eat the soup. Toast and butter the bread and put it on top of the soup….let it sop up for a minute or two while inhaling and saying grace and you’ve got a peasant dish fit for royalty.)

Adapted from Patricia Cornwall and Marlene Brown. Food To Die For. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 2001. pp.78-9.

The COMPLETE Book of Garlic - on my list...

The COMPLETE Book of Garlic – on my list…

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Potato Peel Broth

Peeling Potatoes - Vincent Van Gogh

Peeling Potatoes – Vincent Van Gogh

There are times when ‘going meatless’ and ‘reduce food waste’ can go hand in  hand. In my freezer is a container that gets all the tough ends of things, the wilted parsley, the ends of celery, the not pretty or not prime. When it’s broth making time they get added to the meat and bone OR they get used alone

But most veggies alone don’t have the heft to give substance to a broth.

russet potato

Russet Potatoes

The lowly potato is nothing if not hefty.

Anna Thomas in The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two has  a very simple truly GENIUS meatless broth.

Vegetarian Epicure Book Two - Anna Thomas

Vegetarian Epicure Book Two – Anna Thomas

BUT before you begin, you have to decide what potato dish you will making with the potatoes. Potato Soup or Potato Gratin or some other dish that uses 6-7 good sized potatoes. It makes no sense to save the peels and throw the potatoes away.

Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas

Potato Peel Broth

Vegetable based (that would be meatless) broth

1 large onion

1 stalk celery

2 carrots

6-7 large brown skinned organically grown potatoes (You are using the PEELS here, people. Organic DOES make a difference here. It’s about 3 pounds. Buy the special bag.)

Large sprig of parsley (or a small stalk of celery – or just the leafy tops – something flavorful and green here)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp dried whole thyme (or if you don’t like thyme, whatever herbal flavor note you’s prefer. I love dill with potatoes….)

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 Quarts water

Salt and pepper to taste (fresh ground pepper is sooooo much better and now that you can buy peppercorns in a little grinder in the general spice section, why are you spending money on pepper dust?)

1 dash hot sauce (This recipe was written before the Sriracha, my now go-to hot sauce was part of the culinary landscape. But a drop or two of something spicy gives depth.)

Dash of lemon juice (If you have a lemon, you’ll use a lemon. Yes you will.Don’t forget the lemon)

Plan a dish that uses 6-7 large peeled potatoes (like Potato Soup or Potato Cheese Calzone or… you get the picture)

  1. Peel the onion and quarter it. Put in a large soup pot.
  2. Wash the carrots and celery and chop them and add them to the pot.
  3.  Scrub the potatoes thoroughly (this is a job for Loofa Gloves!) and cut out any blemishes.
  4. Loofah Gloves makes scrubbing potatoes a breeze.

    Loofah Gloves makes scrubbing potatoes a breeze.

  5. Peel them in strips at least ¼ inch thick. This is the very opposite from how potatoes are supposed to be peeled. I have to be rather Zen about this, and mindfully make fat peels. Add the fat,clean peels to the pot.
  6. Whatever peeler works for you - or you can use a paring knife

    Whatever peeler works for you – or you can use a paring knife

  7. Add the parsley, oil, bay leaf, thyme and garlic.
  8. Cover with the 2 Quarts water and bring to a boil.
  9. Simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  10. Meanwhile, use the potatoes for whatever you were going to use them for.
  11. If necessary, add more water to the pot to keep the vegetables covered at all times.
  12. Broth is done when it is light brown, fragrant and delicious. There should be about 6 cups.
  13. Strain. Toss out the spent vegetable bits. Correct seasoning; salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemon.
  14. Use, refrigerate for 2 or 3 days to use or freeze for later use.

Adapted from Anna Thomas The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two. Alfred A. Knopf. 1986. pp.58-9.

Peeling Potatoes - Frank Holl

Peeling Potatoes – Frank Holl

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