Jan here with an important announcement:
Fall has arrived in the north…
|Little Spearfish Canyon, October 2011|
Okay, we’re still waiting for the fall colors, but the temperatures are plummeting, the skies are cool blue, the geese are gathering, the shadows are lengthening, football season is starting...
Fall is definitely here!
It’s time to put soup back on the menu!
This soup is one of those you can make with almost any veggie – except potatoes. If you add potatoes, then it’s potato soup, right?
Here’s the official recipe:
Winter Vegetable Soup
¼ cup butter
2 medium sized turnips, chopped
1 rutabaga, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ quarts stock – chicken or vegetable
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or one sprig fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups kale
1 Tablespoon each, butter and olive oil
In a large soup pot (I use an 8-quart pot), melt the butter. Add your turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots and onions.
Cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 30 minutes, add your stock, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring it all to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so until the vegetables are soft.
When your veggies are nice and soft, it’s time for the blender. (If you used fresh thyme, remove the sprig now.)
If you have one of those handy immersion blenders, this is the time to put it through its paces. Just stick it in the pot and blend until the soup is smooth.
I don’t have one of those, so I put the soup – about a quart at a time – in my big blender and blend away. As each part gets done, I put the blended soup in a large bowl and do the next batch until the whole pot of soup is nice and smooth. Then I return it to the soup pot and put it back on the stove on medium heat.
While the soup is coming back up to temperature, tear the kale into 1-inch pieces.
Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet until melted. Add the kale and stir to coat. Add salt to taste. Cook at medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and let the kale steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
While the kale is cooking, add the cream to your soup and let it heat slowly. You don’t want to heat it too quickly or let the soup boil or the cream will break.
Serve the soup in bowls with a nice dollop of kale for a garnish.
Now, soup for dinner begs to have bread on the side, and the fresher the better.
For this yummy Garlic Twist Bread you need:
one loaf of bread dough
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried Basil
Since I make my bread six loaves at a time, it’s easy to use one lump of dough for this recipe…
OR, you can buy a loaf of frozen bread dough from the grocery store…
The main thing is to have bread dough ready to go.
On a baking pan (greased or lined with baking parchment), spread your dough out into a rectangle, about 9 inches by 12 inches.
On this rectangle, spread 2 Tablespoons softened butter.
In a bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons minced garlic, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon dried basil.
Spread this mixture evenly over your dough.
Now, roll up your rectangle from the side, jelly-roll style.
Next, cut the roll up the middle.
If you don’t have a pair of kitchen shears, buy one. They’re way too handy not to own a pair.
Oh! When you’re cutting, stop just before you get to the end!
Now, carefully twist the two halves of the roll around each other. This isn’t as easy as it looks, but it works.
Warning: you’re going to make a mess. Just put any spilled filling back on top of your bread.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. (This step isn’t crucial to the recipe, but it sure makes the loaf look professional!)
Let it rise for about 20-30 minutes, and then bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
Mine got a little browner than I wanted – my oven doesn’t keep an even temperature, but I’m shopping for a new one. My dear husband insists we make the purchase before the Christmas baking season...
Now, doesn’t that look like a great cold-weather meal?