"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: carrots

snowstorm soup (from the cupboard etc.). . .


I’ve written about making soup a number of times: all day-beef vegetable soup; quick and easy vegetable soup; stone soup and so on. Tonight, I’ve been watching the weather report to expect some inches of snow to fall tomorrow between noon and midnight. However much snow that turns out to be, the first thing I thought about was to make a hearty soup from what I already have in the cupboard and fridge in the morning just in case the power goes out (which is an emergency we like to be prepared for.)

Leaning towards a veggie melange, I decided not to use the frozen beef and marrow bones that I have in the freezer. Instead, I’m going for onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, barley, broth and stewed tomatoes.

Here’s the actual ingredients I put together this morning: chopped vidalia onions, 2 stalks of celery and two small zucchini browned in a medium sized soup pot. Sent G. to look for carrots because I was out of them. He returned with four small ones from the tenant who lives downstairs (I invited her to share a bowl with us for lunch.) Added five large mushrooms cut into big chunks, soaked a handful of barley in boiling water; added a Knorr beef broth gelatin pack, spring water and a can of Del Monte stewed tomatoes. After soaking, added the drained barley. The barley will make the soup thicken as it cooks. One bonus of making this kind of soup is that as it is consumed, you can make more broth to bring the liquids back up and make more servings. We’re enjoying soup, not a stew, after all!

scones-1Might make a batch of “scones” to go with a cup of soup for lunch. This is a twenty-five year old recipe that is easy to make at the last minute. (a cup and half of flour, a 3/4 cup of milk; and half a stick of hard butter & a pinch of salt.) This is actually half a recipe but the proportions are easy to fit into a small size Cuisinart. I whizz the flour and cold butter bits together with salt; add milk and blend until it’s mixed. Scoop out on a cookie sheet with a soup spoon and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. It creates a buttery biscuit that someone famously said was missing the “scone powder.” It’s because there’s no leavening in it but the blobs of dough and butter crisped up on the edges are divine.scones-2

The soup will simmer while the snow falls and with it for supper, I’m going to try a sandwich idea I saw in one of the cooking magazines that either float through the house or that I saw at Barnes and Noble the other day: a grilled cheese sandwich with prosciutto and granny smith apple slices on pumpernickel bread. I have some nice grated swiss cheese and might add some gruyere, one crispy apple and a pack of prosciutto that I picked up at Whole Foods the other day. Glad all these ingredients are on hand that helps me to avoid making a trek to the grocery store this morning!

A gourmet sandwich and soup made from the larder for dinner; and a cup of soup with buttery scones for lunch! I guess we’re glad we’re going to be inside while it snows – plus we can watch the wild card football game this afternoon at 3:30 while the snowstorm gets going outside.

Sounds pretty good to me!


an “all day” vegetable soup on a wintry day. . .

veg-soupI live in New England and the temperature outside today is anywhere from ZERO to 2-3 degrees MINUS ZERO. Good thing the sun is out on this very cold day. Hope the cars start up without any trouble.

When we heard this weather forecast for an unusually cold day today, I thought it would be comforting to make a large pot of old-fashioned beef vegetable soup and have it simmer all day on the back burner of the stove. I have a fast-pressure cooker too that I use to make bone broth – but today felt like a day to do it the old-fashioned way: cook chopped onions, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes cut in two; brown two shin of beef with the bone in; let the soup cook for half a day (it’s 8:30 a.m. right now) adding beef broth and water as needed, tasting along the way.

soup-1For the afternoon stint, I’ll add some rosy red turnips, small yukon potatoes, maybe a half cup of soaked barley and at the very end, some cut up cabbage so that it will be tender but not overcooked in the soup. Might make a ciabetta garlic bread slathered with melted butter and real garlic warmed in a pot and then brushed between the slices, wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven. This old standby has somehow popped up recently and I’ve found that just about everybody loves it – and also that no one has had it in a very long time either!

2 shins of beef browned to start the soup. . .

2 shins of beef browned to start the soup. . .

Meanwhile, since it is a sort of stay at home day (although I have to go out twice today,) I’m also going to make mince pies to mail out for Christmas Thank-Yous to various professional people who help us every year. So, we’ll see how far that goes and whether there’s enough energy (me) and time to make them all today, wrap them up and mail them out tomorrow before the Christmas mail crunch really hits on Monday. Or maybe I’m already too late for that!


‘stone soup’ for lunch! . . .


It’s gotten a little chilly out so instead of making a salad for lunch, I decided to put together a soup from whatever I happened to have on hand in the fridge and pantry. I call this “stone soup” like the folk tale about French soldiers who stirred up a big kettle of water and put some clean “magical” stones in it. Soon, curious villagers began to contribute to the “broth”: vegetables from the root cellar, grains from the barn, sides of beef until there was a hearty soup to be shared by everyone.

This soup is somewhat like that: I found a small piece of onion and zucchini in the vegetable bin which I chopped up along with half a carrot. There were a couple of still fresh broccoli florets in a pack that was ready to be thrown out. Into the pot they went along with a can of DelMonte diced tomatoes and a Knorr beef broth packet. Added water and it looked pretty thin. Poured in a handful of raditiore pasta, the crinkled, pretty pasta that quickly expanded as it cooked.

And what do you know? I soon had a soup that looked and tasted like a true minestrone soup for lunch! Nice to have a warm bowl on a chilly Fall day.