The Potato Leek Soup (warm) on the Williams Sonoma website is one of my Mom’s favourites. I made it the other day when our fridge was sparse and we had a hankering for something warm and soothing. I skipped the cream so it was Darren friendly, omitted the fennel because it would have meant a trip to the store, and I substituted spinach for the watercress since it was in season. We used our homemade vegetable soup stock, as always, since we had a nice big batch of it in jars in the freezer.
I love when soup is this easy. Essentially cut, boil, then run through the blender.
I’ve never had this soup chilled but my two favourite cold soups are gazpacho (who knew?) and strawberry (so decadent). Have you ever had a cold soup? Which are your favouritess? Do you ever eat them warm?
I’ve tried making a few different soup stocks but I always come back to the vegetable stock from my Mother’s Williams Sonoma Soup cookbook. I’ve never even made chicken stock this good! It always tastes so homey and fresh, definitely comfort food. It’s actually so rich that sometimes when I use it I water it down a bit to balance out the other flavours of the soup.
It’s really easy to make. Essentially just cutting up all the vegetables and letting it simmer on the stove for an hour or two. I used to make stock using leftover vegetables, stalks, and other things that are on the verge of going bad, since that’s what many people will tell you to do. But then I started thinking, since I’m still eating it I want to use the freshest ingredients I can. Plus if I’m going to the trouble of making, then storing my own stock so that later I can make my own soup, then I’m going to do it up right.
My favourite trick is making it in a pasta pot and putting all the vegetables in the strainer, that way when it’s ready all I need to do is lift out the basket and I’m all done.
What’s your favourite kind of soup stock? Do you use fresh vegetables or leftovers? What are some of your favourite seasonings? Favourite veggies?
I’ve been making mixed berry muffins with berries from our freezer. Personally, I prefer lemon poppyseed, but Darren is digging these.
The thing I love about muffins is that you basically only need to dirty one bowl to make them and once they come out of the oven they’re done. I prefer to eat cookies but baking them makes so many dishes, plus running all the baking sheets through the oven at 10 minutes a pop seems really high maintenance to me.
I modified Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Muffins from her book Vegan Brunch. I omitted the lemon zest, decreased the lemon juice to 1 tsp, and folded in 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries right before then went into the muffin tray.
What is your favourite type of thing to bake? Why? Do you have any baking short cuts? Is there something that you quite enjoy eating, but could do without the baking part?
Every year my family gets together for a pot luck party on Boxing Day. This year Darren and I brought spanakopitas and my mother made these handy little ham slider sandwiches. Dinner time was standing room only in the kitchen as we filled our plates with homemade fare and filled the air with lively chitchat.
I know this post is coming a couple months late, that’s just the craziness that Christmas can be. Is there a special holiday that your whole family gets together on every year? How do you celebrate? What are your rituals? How do you make merry with food?
Ham and pastrami sandwich for lunch. With a pickle on the side and a glass of milk.
Creamy softened butter for shortbread cookies.
We like to give food for holiday gifts so this fall our canning pot was busy boiling up lots of preserves, including our very popular Quick Dill Pickles. Our recipe of choice is from our favourite canning book: Joy of cooking: All About Canning & Preserving.
What is your favourite preserved goodie?
I love breakfast for dinner. Growing up Thursday night was grocery shopping night which also meant it was cereal night. I think my Mom was just looking for an excuse to not make dinner once a week. We didn’t care because that meant we got to have fresh, sugary-sweet, cerealicious goodness for supper. Mom with her Shredded Wheat, my brothers with their Captain Crunch, and me with my Cheerios or Lucky Charms. I don’t remember my Dad partaking in the cereal eating though. Let me tell you, come Thursday night we were the envy of the village! Some of the neighbourhood kids would even come over for dinner. Other mothers thought it was a brilliant win-win situation and started having their own cereal-for-dinner nights.
Cereal isn’t so common around our house these days. I do still enjoy a bowl of Cheerios almost every morning but Darren is more of an oatmeal guy, don’t even get him started about all the different cuts. He used to love a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (fondly known as HNC’s around our place) on weekend mornings but since he found out he is sensitive to dairy he hasn’t been into it as much. Something about the milk at the end not being as creamily sweet. He’s tried almond, rice, soy, oat, and hemp milk, but none of them really do it for him when it comes to cereal.
A few days ago we found ourselves with a brand new bottle of local maple syrup, so you know what that meant: breakfast for dinner! Darren found a great recipe for vegan pancakes online and whipped up a batch. Such a lovely change! Plus I found the vegan version didn’t sit so heavy in my stomach as the traditional version usually does.