17 November 2010

o m god. pictures too!?

its been long and coming, but i am back. being back does come with some sadness. i no longer live in new york city, which is sad on many accounts and exciting on many as well. i've been 'preparing' for this for what seems like forever and, here i am. i am currently homeless and unemployed. which feels weird and amazing...i mean, i am on vacation buuut i'm bored and can't seem to enjoy it. however, this is not the point of my post, that's the point of an email i would write. the point of this post is: soup. 

soup. i haven't made soup in... a year. it was a nice re-introduction to my parents kitchen, well, quite frankly any kitchen that i could monopolize and use to my advantage. its nice to have a pantry full of food stuffs to play with, its nice to have a car to skip out and pick up an ingredient i may have missed, its nice to cook. its nice to be in the drivers seat in the kitchen. i know i've said it before but the kitchen is my place of solace. its the place that i go to to think. to process life and everything that being handed to me, pinch by pinch, cup by cup. its also lovely that in my parents kitchen they also have a table to sit at and read and relax and surf the net. it makes it more of a comfortable place. its something that draws me to the kitchen. the comfort of it, the community of it, the family of it. my family spends a lot of time, when we're all together in the kitchen. when i go to parties - and i know this is not phenomenon i'm just discovering - its the place people tend to end up hanging out. i love the kitchen. i hope that i am able to make my new kitchen perfect. well, not perfect, but mine. jordan's space.

i have decided that i would like to embark on meatless mondays. albeit when i decided this it was tuesday afternoon and i decided that for dinner, to be healthy and start on this new project i would make a veggie only meal. this soup, guys,...is so easy. and so tasty. i wish i had had this soup in my arsenal when we had our CSA in brooklyn. we were getting pounds and pounds of veggies by the week that we couldnt keep up with and i think this soup is perfect for that, if you find yourself with an excess of veggies or if you bought a lot for other dishes and just didnt end up using them - this is you meal ticket. 

fine, i'll shut up now. :)

Maggie's Vegetable Potage
adapted from Patricia Wells' at home in PROVENCE

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white part only, trimmed, scrubbed, and chopped
sea salt to taste
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 small golden beets*, peeled and chopped
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
2 rutabaga*, peeled and chopped
1/2 head of lettuce (such as Cos), washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
a handful of finely chopped cabbage
1 3/4 pints (28 oz) homemade chicken stock - or 2 cans low sodium chicken stock
one 2 oz chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. put a tea kettle on low when you start the cooking process. in a large heavy-duty stock pot, combine the oil, leek and a teaspoon salt, and pepper to your liking and cook until lightly browned, about 4 - 5 minutes. add the carrots, beets, zucchinis, and rutabaga in small batches, cooking each several minutes before adding the next. (this was probably the most fun part of this recipe...watching all the veggies change...i bet it would have been more fun if i used red beets and i bet the color would have been so much more vibrant at the end!) 
once all the veggies are lightly browned, add the lettuce and cabbage and stir vigorously until wilted. there should be no liquid left by this point. add hot water just to cover veggies and simmer, covered, until the carrots, beet and rutabaga are soft, about 25 minutes. taste for seasoning. add the stick and simmer, covered, gently for 30 minutes more. taste for seasoning.
2. while the soup simmers, prepare the cheese. using the vegetable peeler, shave the cheese into long thick strips into a bowl. if the chunk of cheese becomes too small to shave, grate the remaining cheese and add it to the bowl. set aside.
3. remove the stock pot from the heat. using a hand blender or immersion mixer, puree the soup directly in the stock pot. alternatively, pass the soup through the coarse blade of a food mill or batch it in a food processor, return to stock pot. taste for seasoning.
4. to serve, ladle hot soup into warmed bowls and place the cheese shavings on top of the soup. serve immediately.

Cooks Note(s): what's so great about this is you can let it cook longer or probably shorter than it calls for...this is a feel-out soup. which can handle and probably benefit from more time on the heat.  whats also great is that you probably should add garlic, i will do that next time AND you can use whatever veggies you want to really. also, the cheese while awesome i might play around with using plain yogurt/sour cream or another type of cheese. *they called for turnips and potatoes, respectively*

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