Sunday, October 18, 2009

Soup's on!

This time of year just begs for setting the big old soup pot out on the stove.

It demands that you pop in a couple of slices of bacon, chop a big sweet onion from the summer garden, three or four cloves of garlic (two if you're timid), a polish sausage, diced and stir them around on high heat until they're nice and brown.  While that was browning, you dice a couple of pounds of new yellow potatoes, washed but still wearing their skins.  They get to brown a bit too, then you add a bit more than 2 quarts of nice homemade chicken stock, some salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

You simmer this until the potatoes are tender. (Twenty to thirty minutes, long enough to get in the laundry from the line, call a friend or feed the chickens.)  Then you throw in two or three good handfuls of julienned spinach and at least a cup of milk.  When it's all warm through and the spinach is wilted but still bright green, you call the menfolks ( the youngest of whom had earlier inquired if this particular soup could be had for dinner) and ladle up some 'first fall weather' soup.

Truth be told, the darling daughter called while the soup making process was happening to ask if we had a fire in the fireplace. " Not yet", I said, " but soon."  as she lamented that her city apartment had no fireplace to warm her tired self. (I interjected 'tired self' here, as she was just getting off of a 30+ hour shift... what I would give to be close enough to share my evening soup with her.)

There is no mystery to making a pot of soup.  You throw in ingredients that 'like' each other and taste it here and there.  You bump up the nutrition factor by using fresh and simple ingredients and adding things like spinach or any fall greens. Wholesome, hearty and just the thing to stave off the dampness and cold that seems to have settled over us like a blanket.

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