Archive for category Soups

Wrapping Up the Box: Empty the Fridge Soup and Frozen Fruit Smash

This is the last post in the series What’s in the Box? Tips for Dealing with Your Weekly Produce Box. I’m sad that it has come to an end. It’s been such fun sharing my organic improvisations with you while also reading your fantastic tips for how you get through your boxes of fruit and veg.

To finish off this series, I’m giving you my “recipe” for Empty the Fridge Soup. I make this on the day before my next produce box arrives. It makes the whole house smell like my Baba’s kitchen, it’s hearty and healthy and (the best part) it makes space for all those incoming goodies.

Before getting into the soup, I’m announcing my next series: Kid-Friendly Fare with Adult-Friendly Flare. In its honor, I’ve developed a frozen fruit recipe that is loved by children but can also be adulted-up a notch. It’s adaptable to whatever fruit you have and so is great for using up those last bits and bobs before your next produce box arrives.

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It’s Springtime: How Do You Use Up Lettuce and Herbs?

When asking people about their weekly produce box, I heard from many of you who belong to Community Supported Agriculture Groups (CSAs).

Y’all have reported that springtime is the most difficult because your farm share is flush with lettuce and herbs. So flush that your family starts looking like a bunch of rabbits and you spend all your time clearing every possible surface in preparation for drying out little leaves. (This is not just a problem for those in CSAs but also for all you over-eager gardeners out there.)

I get it. I mean, how much lettuce and herbs can you really eat?

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Unambiguously Baked Baked Potato Soup

I squinted down at the bowlful of white glop in front of me then up at the waitress. I asked, “Where’s the cheese?”

“What cheese?”

“The cheese! The cheese! How can you have baked potato soup without cheese?”

She looked at me like I was nuts. “We don’t put cheese on our baked potatoes so why would we put it on our baked potato soup?”

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Pepper Jack Soup from the Falcon Lake Deli

Soup-making is something that I just know how to do. Why? I grew up surrounded by soup-simmering and soup-eating.

Tomato Beef Barleys and Chicken Noodles warmed my childhood. Vegetarian Borscht Dappled with Heavy Cream appeared in the spring and returned to freshen Ukrainian Christmas Eve (a meatier version was ladled daily at the Perogy Patch). Mushroom with Wild Rice, Bean and Bacon, Hearty Potato Tomato, Pepper Jack and many other creations starred in Soup and Sandwich specials at the Falcon Deli.

And now, on my blog, Pepper Jack will also exemplify the simple brilliance of my mom’s recipes. Yay good soup! Yay awesome Mom! Read the rest of this entry »

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“Oh Sh*t, My Bowl is Empty. That Sucks!” Soup

(a.k.a. Smokey Soup with Some Shrimp, Some Sausage, Some Barley AND SOME HEAT)

While jumping up and down to Raise Your Glass by P!nk in a Zumba class, my New Year’s resolution changed from, “This year I will exercise more, eat healthier, eat less, blah, blah, blah”  to “This year I will do things that are good for me because they feel good.” (Read about my resolution shift here.)

As part of this new resolution, I sifted through my index cards to find recipes that are good for me, make me feel good and are like Zumba:

Fast. Fun. HOT!

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A Mourning for Chicken Soup

She woke to the twittering of early morning birds. Stretching, she cursed the cold air for making the birds seem so bloody loud. Oh well. Time to get up anyway.  Into the kitchen to turn on the kettle, into the shower, out to the front porch for the paper, to the desk to fire up the laptop. Emails, scheduling, a lecture to write for this week, an article to proofread. Glad to stay home and work. Glad to spend time getting things done with only the tweeting to disturb her.

The telephone shrieked, scattering the birds and smothering her thoughts. Damn. Who would call so early? Mom. “Hi Mom… Oh. Oh my God. Oh no… When? Who was with her? Oh no…umm…I love you too….I know she did….I’ll phone as soon as I’ve booked a flight….Oh…Ummm…How are you doing? OK…Yeah, I will….I love you too….OK…Bye.” She turned to the laptop and booked a flight for the following day. And then she sat and wished that the birds were still fluttering nearby.

She stared past her screen-saver and saw her family: sitting down, standing up, walking in, walking out, lips moving, hugging. Her neck and shirt were wet. She stood and took a step one way and then the other. Where’s the kleenex? She shrugged, swiped at her eyes with the back of her hand and crawled down to the floor, curling in like a caterpillar. She sobbed. And sobbed. And then she sniffled. Rolling onto her back she heard the birds come back to the yard. She asked them, “What should I do now? What am I supposed to do now?” Her voice echoed and then disappeared. No meaningful response. She sniffled again. And again. And then she knew. Her tear-drenched lips almost smiled as she rose. Once in the kitchen, she laid a pot on the stove and filled it with everything needed to reassure herself and to help her remember until tomorrow’s flight home.

Chicken Soup Like a Grandmother Used to Make

I don’t actually have a recipe because it’s never the same twice. Here’s what my baba used to do, what my mom and I still do.

Get out your chicken, either a whole chicken or some thighs, drumsticks, wings or some combination. You need about 3 lbs, more is fine. Always use chicken that has skin and bones when making soup. Put the chicken into a pot that fits it with at least a couple of inches to spare.

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