November 29, 2011

Pretending to be cozy

Somewhere, as you read this, I am trudging through the rain and cold, on my way to a meeting I don't want to be at, or I have left the meeting, and am standing at a bus stop, as annoyed as you can imagine that it's raining on me.  I think that the friend who told me that I must have been a cat in a previous life was right, because I hate water falling on me. It makes me instantly crabby when there are spots of water on my glasses, and when the rain starts to soak your winter coat, because that garment is built for snow, not rain, and somewhere, I am bloody indignant that it's cold enough that I have to wear a winter coat, but still raining. Rain, I am thinking, as I stand wherever I am,  is miserable. 

Somewhere, as you read this, I am contemplating that while I hate all rain, I have a spectacular loathing for early winter rain, and how cold it is, and how today is dark and grumpy and miserable, exactly the sort of day that I like to spend in the house, with soup, writing, knitting and a cup of tea. Somewhere, as you read this, I'm pretending that the 40 minutes that I was home at noontime, in between things to do, is what my whole day was like.   I am pretending that instead of (insert miserable damp cold errand here)  I am at home, blocking my finished Fernfrost.

Fernfrost is shown unblocked, here in my cozy house, where rain is not falling. 

Somewhere, standing in the rain, feeling it soak through the pockets of my coat and through my wool hat, I am thinking about this soup, which I knocked together in 30 of the 40 minutes I was home, and then ate as fortification against the rain. 

Just in case you're wondering, and in case it's raining where you are, and because someone will ask, and because this soup is so good, and hearty, and fast, and cheap and good for you...and vegetarian (and vegan if you use all olive oil and leave out the butter) in short, everything you would want in a soup...

Emergency Soup

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 leeks (the white parts only, sliced very thin)
2-3 potatoes, scrubbed, quartered and sliced thin.
2-3 carrots,  sliced in half lengthwise, then chopped pretty fine.
2 cloves garlic, minced.
4 cups vegetable stock (If I don't have any, I cheat and use water and 2 veggie bouillon cubes.)
1 can chick peas.  (Rinsed)
Parsley if you have it.

Put the olive oil, butter and leeks into a heavy bottomed pot, stir until the butter melts, put the flame on medium low, and put a lid on it.
Go wash and slice the carrots and potatoes. 
Stir the leeks after 5 minutes. 
At the 10 minute mark, add the potatoes and carrots, and maybe turn the heat up a little.  Stir, cooking until they're almost tender, then whack in the garlic, and stir for about 2 more minutes. 
Add the chick peas, and cook, stirring for a minute or two.
Add the stock and parsley (if you're using it) and bring the soup to a simmer.
Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are fully soft (this will be less than 15 minutes) then either eat it the way it is, or - for a really creamy soup (that has no cream) puree one cup of the soup and add it back.  (I always puree, but I have an immersion blender that makes it a snap.)

I serve it with warm bread and pretend it isn't raining pouring.

Posted by Stephanie at November 29, 2011 12:03 PM