Soup’s on Menu Monday
We said a freezer was near essential to eating local, and last week we re-invigorated our freezer friendship. Want to know what else is essential to eating local. Soup. Locavores need soup. We need soup for a few reasons. Soup rescues surplus foods. What locavore worth his canvas tote does not wind up too often with a forgotten cauliflower, a bag of rocket that did not get fully used. Even the most exact will find kohlrabi leaves and beet stems there for the taking, extra meat, so-to-speak, that can be used as soup or at least stock. I mean we accumulated a couple of cauliflower that never found there way to our tables. They wilted a bit, gained a few dark spots. Yet, a little scalpel action later, and they are good to go. Cooked through; cooked down, who cares if they started soft. Not only does soup rescue food before it rots, it gives space for food that cannot make it on its own. Our CSA box, for instance, contained one bag of spinach. Sauteed, it would make a condiment at best. With other bits and pieces, it makes soup.
My wife likes to make soup. She recently unearthed her boat motor, a/k/a her immersion blender. There is no more essential add-on to the soup pot than the immersion blender. It easily changes that pot of cooked down cauliflower to a pot of cauliflower soup. Thing is, my wife likes to make a lot of soup. After several episodes of white cauliflower soup, we moved on to white potato-leek soup. Thing is, it hardly takes much leek to make a leek soup. We still have many leek in house, and my wife already dreams of another leek soup recipe. She has one in mind, by English chef, Shaun Hill that includes that non-local ingredient, saffron. We will have soup on Menu Monday as well as several more days this week.
We will eat remaining chicken too. As I noted last week, after going through our freezer, we found several chicken. For Friday night, my wife roasted two, on a bed of fall–diced apple, sweet potato, cauliflower and red onion. We will have leftover chicken as big salad, and she has her eyes on pot pie again too.
We have eggplants lying around, and these I do not believe, will make for good soup. My wife has her eyes on a gratin/tian for these, although between you and me, I’d rather fry them up. See, while I accept the need for soup on Menu Monday, I still bristle. I’m a salad guy, a mezze guy. Is that a generally accepted conflict, the soup guys vs. the salad guys? Let me boil it down to this. My wife likes to have one big pot of soup that feeds us for several days in a row. I like to have multiple plates of salads to go with meals each day. Since I do not compromise much, if enough, we often find our tables with soup and salad. Last week I made my famous garlic-y lemon cabbage salad. We had leftover carr0t-jalepeno salad with toasted cumin seeds and marinated roasted peppers too. I think our eggplants should go into the salad column. Also for the salads, long red peppers that came in our box a few weeks ago for frying.
Our larders our full on Menu Monday. Two delicata squash got roasted and agro-dulched the other night, but that leaves us about two spaghetti squash, two butternut squash and two pie pumpkins. We are building our reserves of potatoes. There are green tomatoes from a neighbor, the last of the red tomatoes from the weekend market. We have more than a few big cabbage and one stalk of many, many little cabbage heads known as Brussels sprouts. And there’s cauliflowers that will probably get shunned aside until there is nothing left to do with them except for to make soup.
Note: I have made sure all the apple purchases this week were segregated and noted. Look the to the Beet blog for various apple noting. Also, forthcoming on the Beet blog this week: we have re-stocked our local cheeses, and we have some good cheeses to note.