June is not soup weather. Let me rephrase that: June shouldn't be soup weather. But here in Seattle, we roll with the punches. This year, June is soup weather. And, if I've learned anything from living 30 odd (and they have been odd) years in the Pacific Northwest, the best way to deal with the weather is to get into it. Raining again? For the tenth day in a row? In the supposed summer? Turn on the heat, pull out the wool socks, put the kettle on, and cozy up with a good book. In other words: embrace the weather. Which brings me back to soup.
Working from home affords me a small luxury: I get to cook myself lunch every day. That may not sound luxurious, but after years of brown-bagging it, eating a hot meal at lunch is a step up. Yesterday, in honor of the rain and a visit from my friend OCD, I whipped up a simple, easy, affordable soup for two. The end result is thick, hearty, and reasonably low fat.
prep time: 10 minutes
time on stove: 1 hour and 3 minutes
you will need:
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of dill
basil (5 leaves minced fresh or 1/2 tsp. dry)
onion chives (chopped)
paprika to taste
pepper to taste (I was liberal in my application)
salt to taste
1/2 onion (chopped)
5 cloves of roasted garlic (chopped)
3 small potatoes (chopped)
3 mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup of canned corn
1 pint of chicken broth
2 pints of water
1/4 cup of white wine
1 carrot (minced)
1. Heat oil at medium heat in medium sauce pan.
2. Add onions, potato, and mushrooms.
3. Add dill, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and wine.
4. Stir occasionally. Cook until onions are translucent.
5. Add broth and water.
6. Cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
7. Add carrots and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
8. Serve, sprinkled with chives.
Our house is a hub--I throw a lot of barbecues and dinner parties, and even when I don't, friends and neighbors innocently stop by at dinner time. So I'm used to cooking for crowds, and I enjoy it, although people who have seen me cooking for crowds might not believe that statement. I do get a vague, hysterical glaze to my eyes in that final five minutes before showtime. In the interest of being a pleasant hostess and/or maintaining some semblance of humanity amidst the steaming pots, I've landed upon two essential rules of cooking for crowds of visitors:
1. Don't try an unfamiliar recipe.
2. Stick to dishes (soups, stews, casseroles, roasts) that don't require a lot of last minute attention.
Tomorrow, I will be sticking to both of those rules (thankfully) as I cook Lasagna for 45 people. Yes, 45 people. In my kitchen with its crappy electric range. Ahhhhhhh!