Post # 119 Leftovers Soup

May 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 119 Leftovers Soup

Life has been very busy recently, leaving me in the position where I have too many things to do and not enough time to get them all done to my satisfaction.  The only solution is that some things just don’t get done.  As I said last week, the blog is going to be sporadic for a short period as things readjust.  Another thing that “suffers” is house work.  There’s still dust on surfaces where there shouldn’t be dust, but I have to keep walking to the next task.  And I have to make sure that I get enough sleep to be able to do the things that need to get done.

Unfortunately, cooking is the one thing that absolutely cannot be ignored.  It’s a conundrum that every person faces:  what to make for dinner?  We buy things about every two weeks, and freeze them.  So the first thing that I face each day is what I’m going to make, then taking it out of the freezer.  I know what I’m in the mood for, but I also have to guess what my family is in the mood for.  We all like specific things; we crave things at different times.

Last week, I got grumpy looking at all the fresh vegetables that were ripening in the fridge.  I didn’t have time to use them all at once, and they weren’t fresh enough to toss in a salad.  Plus, they were all of the type that were better cooked rather than raw.  It’s a very warm time here in the desert, but I decided to make soup.  I mean, what else are you going to do with veggies?

I took out my new 6 quart dutch oven and filled it full of warm water, then took out frozen chicken thighs and put them in the warm water to thaw out.  After a couple of hours, I drained everything and chopped the chicken up in large chunks.  I put two tablespoons of olive oil to heat in the dutch oven and sautéed onion and garlic until the onion turned clear.  I didn’t want brown onions for this particular soup.  I browned the chicken parts then poured a whole carton of chicken broth over everything.  Then I added four cups of water, some fresh rosemary, some pepper and brought it to a simmer.  I let it simmer four several hours then added fresh leeks cut into strips, fresh green beans cut into bite size chunks, sugar peas, whole baby spinach leaves, celery heart, shredded curly leaf cabbage, and chopped fresh tomatoes.  I simmered for about another hour and a half, adjusted the salt and pepper and served it hot with fresh biscuits.  The reason I didn’t want the onions to brown was because apart from the tomatoes, every other vegetable was green so I wanted to keep it a light colored soup.  My family and I don’t do leftovers very well, so the amount of soup that was made was perfect for us.  And it was good!  And it used up most of the veggies that were going to turn soon.

Soup is a good panacea for the kitchen.  It doesn’t have to cook for a long time to develop full flavors.  I’ve seen chefs on TV who make soup in under twenty minutes.  I’ve watched chefs in my own kitchen who have made rich, full bodied vegetable soup in a half hour.  For me, the hardest part is knowing when to stop adding things.  I didn’t add rice or noodles to this soup since I was serving it with fresh bread.

*Garden Update:

Everything is coming up!  Well, almost everything.  All my green beans are up.  My tomatillos are starting.  The radishes are thriving.  The carrots have poked their greens up.  My seedling tomatoes didn’t do well, so I ended up buying two thriving cherry tomato plants and one roma tomato plant and putting those in.  I also planted four pepper plants, two poblano and two Holy Mole, which I’ve never heard of.  I also planted sweet peas next to the fence so they could use the chain link to climb.  They’ve just poked their heads out of the dirt. The only thing that I’m starting to question are the herbs.  I’ve got one bunch coming up, but nothing else.  I’ve got one basil and one sage that I picked up at a nursery so I might end up getting all the rest of my herbs there too.  So with the plants all doing well, I still need the overalls to complete the role play.

Enjoy!

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