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Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow and Soup, 24Feb2011

We got our snow, although it was largely melted by mid-afternoon.  Then it snowed again, and a little has stuck.


Steve went out for his daily walk all bundled up.  While he was out, I made soup, loosely based on Italian Wedding Soup to use up what we had.  It was good, and I'll give you an idea how I did it, but not a recipe.  I am largely a 'dump cook'; I cook, dumping stuff in until I think it's done.  This is probably not a fair assessment of my skill, because I have gotten much better at it as I've racked up more hours at the stove.  I even have the bad habit of doing things like making pancakes and tortillas without properly measuring things; ingredients get dumped in the flour sifter or my hand until they look about right.  I make great pancakes and tortillas.  Maybe that's why building pasta on the island appeals to me as much as it does; you dump flour on the board, stir an egg into it, knead it a little, let it rest a half hour, and then start making pasta.  I would say it's a piece of cake, but cake is where I do get out measuring cups and a recipe.

So the soup then: I chopped and then sweated a medium homegrown onion in couple tablespoons of olive oil with a couple pinches of red pepper flakes.  Instead of doing the whole meatball thing, I browned little tiny meatballs of sausage, about a quarter pound.  Since I couldn't actually roll meatballs with my bandaged up left hand, I used a melon baller, employing an old German trick; I wet the melon baller first, and the sausage didn't stick to it.  After that was browned, I added two minced garlic cloves, which I only cooked a little, and then dumped in chicken stock, about a quart.  To that I added a frozen package of homegrown Swiss chard.  Then I left the whole thing to simmer.

While the soup was simmering, I mashed about three tablespoons of soft butter and a minced clove of garlic together with some oregano (you could also use Italian seasoning, but I don't have any), and then a tablespoon or so of grated Romano (you could also use Parmesan- I just prefer Romano cheese).  That was spread on six slices of crusty bread, and browned under the broiler.

To serve it, I put a slice of the garlic bread in a bowl, ladled the soup on top, and sprinkled a little more Romano on it.

I'll make this one again, as long as all the kitchen stars line up and I have all the ingredients together again at the same time.  Which is probable.

Today, Friday, has dawned absolutely clear and cold; it's really beautiful out.  I'm going to send Steve up the hill with the camera for his walk and see if we can get a nice picture of Mt. Hood for you.  I hope so; it's beautiful where I live.  Every time I feel down for not living in the country I have to remind myself that I'm still supremely lucky to live where I do.

9 comments:

Rick said...

Hey Paula hope your hand is healing up. Hate getting injured like that myself.

Paula said...

Thanks Rick- me too! It's all bandaged up and in a splint, so I've no idea of the progress it's making. I just hope it's healing way fast because I am seriously bored, and antsy about the stuff that's not getting done!

Toni aka irishlas said...

This sounds absolutely yum!! I could use a good soup today. It's warm-ish (high 40's)but 40-50mph winds.

Have a great weekend!

p.s. - I want to be your neighbor along with Miriam and Kim. Ah, what we four ladies could do!!

Miriam said...

Your soup sounds yummy and easy and nutritious - perfect! I'm sorry to hear your injury is getting in the way. Is it too late to take arnica? And it sounds too deep to use calendula. I guess what you need is patience but I'm in short supply of that myself, so I can't send you any...

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

We got a little snow here on the coast. It was beautiful and fun to watch the chickens try to decide if they wanted to come out or not! Hope you heal quickly!

Paula said...

Toni- you'd have to move to Washington, so you'd be between us! As of this writing, there is no state income tax in Washington, although I think the state sales tax included food. Not sure about that. It's warmer where you are today!

I'm not familiar with arnica, Miriam, and I don't have any besides. And yeah, it was too deep for calendula. I should have gone to the doctor right away and gotten a couple of stitches in it, but hopefully the butterfly bandage and immobilisation will do the trick. I'd be taking Vitamin C, which is supposed to speed healing, if I had any. Maybe when Steve picks up the basil for tonight's pizza I can get him to get some Vit. C. That's a good idea.

Patience is definitely in short supply around here.

Paula said...

Thanks Ruth! I'm glad that you got some snow. Did I ever tell you that I have a sister whose middle name is Ruth? Her first name is Priscilla, and we always called her Ruthie growing up. Then somewhere in high school I started calling her Rudy (when I wasn't calling her Rudenzo or Rudeness), and Rudy stuck. Even her husband calls her Rudy, and the nieces and nephews call her Aunt Rudy. Which reminds me of an old song....

Heidianne said...

Hope the hand heals up, and you are back to your work and creative pursuits without a splint! Love the soup, I make a Polish bigos that is a mixture of all sorts of things and never comes out the same way twice. Stay warm, we got a dusting too, but now it's just frozen out there. Brrrrr!
I wish we lived out in the country too..one day.

Paula said...

Thanks Heidianne!