Sunday, November 20, 2016
Doesn't Fit Soup
Every Friday night, my family had a meal that my mother called MustGo. That's because she did the grocery shopping on Saturday while the baked beans were in the oven and she wanted the refrigerator empty and ready when she brought food home, so all the leftovers had to be finished up--thus, it all Must Go.
I was thinking this morning that my "go to" recipe ought to be called Doesn'tFit because my mini-fridge is rarely able to hold everything I buy. Yes, perhaps I could buy more sensibly. But since my budget relies upon me buying clearance food items, I can't really plan the way most folks probably do. I've gotta take whatever there is and make it work. And I kinda like doing that, to be honest; it requires a special sort of creativity.
We had a frost last night, so it's chilly in the house today: 58 degrees. I haven't turned on the central heat yet because I promised myself to refrain until it was absolutely necessary--that is partly a budgetary move but also partly because I want to see how I can manage the cold more efficiently in my small (not Tiny) house. There's gotta be a better way to deal with this uninsulated cinderblock house that sets on a concrete slab. I can always feel the cold coming up from the floor but heat tends to rise, so my feet end up freezing while my shoulders tend to be toasty warm. So I'm gonna keep searching for middle ground until I find it.
Experiments are interesting but, as usual, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about was why the soup I made early on this Sunday morning.
I went shopping yesterday, not because it was Saturday but because I had run out of butter--a definite must-have; I can do without most other things but don't take away my butter! And, once again, I found salad on sale. All the other sale food was already cleared out.....wanna guess who forgot that people would be shopping for Thanksgiving?
I had a lovely romaine salad for lunch yesterday. I cooked the spinach salad and had that for supper last night. But my little fridge had no space for the remainder of the romaine, and there seemed rather a lot of it--certainly more that I could eat in a day, and there were signs (browning around the edges) that it should be consumed without delay.
Oh and there was just one other thing: the fridge has been having "issues" so the last of the milk had frozen. (I swear everything in the house seems to be going toes up all at once; it's more than even I can tolerate.) Huge annoyance; don't wanna waste the milk so that needed to be used up as well.
So the house was cold. There was excess salad. The milk was frozen. Sounds like reason enough to make soup!
I've talked so much about salad soup that it must seem a tiresome topic. Maybe this soup was just a little different, though.
Bare bones (vegetarian bones that is) directions:
Saute about half a cup of chopped onion until softened in a tablespoon of butter. Add a cup of boiling water and about 3 to 4 cups of salad greens. Cover and allow to cook down for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and add a little more (not much! a few tablespoons) hot water if necessary. Add about 1 1/2 cups of milk and allow to return to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and process with a stick blender. (It won't be completely smooth--the romaine may retain a little crispiness; mine did.) Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dried potato flakes too thicken--sprinkle the flakes over the surface and stir in; don't add it all at once because you will have to adjust the amount so that the soup doesn't become too thick. Season to taste. (Don't be like me: I forgot the salt and pepper and wondered why the soup was bland! Very silly.) Serve warm with a dollop with sour cream on top.
Sour cream: please don't stir it in! Just add a little bit the edge of every spoonful. That makes a lovely treat. I get so annoyed when people think it's necessary to blend it--takes all the fun out of the experience.
I had my soup with hot buttered Popovers (or, as my family always called them, Poppingovers)--a really great excuse for firing up the oven on a chilly morning. The recipe is somewhere in one of my posts; I forget where--sorry; one of these days I need to get around to tagging stuff. And I lack the determination to edit as well so apologies for any blunders; I'm sure they are plenty.
Right now, I wanna go back to that nice warm kitchen, and I'm sure Daisy has tired of the frigid air on the screen porch and wants to be let in.
The oven is still hot. Maybe I'll make some Robin Cake.
Life is good.
****editing to add a link to my recipe for Re-Imagined Robin Cake