Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cream of Vegetable Soup

I grew up eating soup for breakfast instead of cereal with milk.  Cream of vegetable soup seems great on a winter's day, no matter which meal.
 Gather fresh and frozen vegetables, and a large cooking pot.
 I keep recipes in a binder in clear sleeves.  Most of the time I alter recipes, maybe it's due to being left-handed, or because I was trained in art school by wonderful abstract expressionists. 
 Love red potatoes with the skins on.  Cut into chunks.  The original recipe directed me to puree everything, but I like chunky soup.  Either was is fine.
 I nuked them in my Corningware casserole until they were half cooked.
 Chop up those darling fresh carrots that are now sold in large bags.
 A large can of chicken broth, 49.5 Oz's.,  speeds things up.
I had a bag of corn,
 and string beans in my freezer.
 When I buy fresh parsley, I freeze most of it.  So I needed to chop it a little and remove some of the large stems.
 The supermarket in town, often puts one sort of vegetable on sale.  Usually there is too much to eat right away. I cut up and freeze the rest, this time zucchini.
 I had broccoli heads frozen, and they too needed to be chopped.
 Spoon in the cooked potatoes with the skins on.
 Chop around four or five stalks of celery.
Add to the pot.
Chop onions, and add.  I used two large ones.
 Now it is time to make the Roux, which thickens the soup.
 I use my Lodge cast iron small frying pan, marked "5sk" on the bottom.  Melt a stick of butter and spoon in two tablespoons unbleached flour slowly.
 Using a flat wooden mixing stick, I work the flour into the melting butter.
 It is almost smooth, but it's hard to do this and take photographs at the same time!
 Pour 1 1/2 cups half & half slowly into the roux.
 Pour roux into the soup.
Season with salt
 and fresh ground pepper.
 Simmer for half an hour or until you like the consistency.  this is my large stainless Revereware pot, with its copper bottom.
I made this much soup and it is ready to take for lunch, (small containers) or pull out for the family, (large containers.)  It freezes well.
This is a book that I got from my sister-in-law.  Food Cures. Quite interesting reading, considering that I prefer  a "back to basics" approach to health; food rather than prescriptions.  This soup is worth a try, and the book is worth a read.  Cheers from the Jarvis House.

Cream of Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 cups vegetables,
(your favorites, depending on the vegetables and how thick you like the soup)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large can chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups half &  half

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Snow of the Year 2012

Yesterday we had the first snowfall here in Western Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.  Compared to last year this was just a small amount of snow, 3-4 inches.
The new back steps before I swept the snow away.
The beautiful twisting branches of my split leaf maple.
One of the large box wood shrubs.  If there had been more snow I would have bopped it with the corn broom to relieve the weight on the branches.
The road looking north.
I keep the stalks on the Miscanthus until Spring so that I can see this.
Old cast and wrought iron chairs.
The back back before footprints.
Terra Cotta flower pots on the potting benches.
This image of the front yard shows the missing large trees on the lot line.
The old sun dial.
Potted Marigolds seed pods from last fall.
Leylands on the north side, which have really done well.
Holly berries out front.
Looking south.
Essentials: corn broom, metal snow shovel, insulated duck boots, and fuzzy  warm inside boots.
Lastly, time for tea, chicken soup and a new book written by my friend, Elizabeth Wix. Fortunate Child.   What a great Saturday!