Thursday, December 20, 2007


I want to tell you about my soup. I have a deep love for soup, and, at this time of year especially, I would happily live on nothing else. My very favorite, right now at least, is a turkey (or chicken) stock base with milk, and all sorts of yummy additions. The following is not really a recipe, since I always just dump things in, but more of a suggestion. And there are no picures because this soup is hardly photogenic - its one of those ugly, incredibly yummy things. Like... well, I don't know what else. You'll just have to take my word for it, until you try it yourself and discover how very true it is!

Yummy Ugly Soup

- onion, diced
- garlic, chopped
- bit of oil or butter
- turkey/chicken/vegetable stock - I like to make this with my own stock after I cook a chicken or turkey, but a can/jar/box of store-bought broth works just fine as well.
- water
- veggies... I use different kinds of vegetables, but my very favorites are dried. You can buy dried vegetable mixes at some stores, or use your own! Dried corn, carrots and celery are my favs. Alternatively, use fresh or frozen vegetables - again I recommend corn, celery, carrots, and perhaps green beans and sweet pepper
- dry split peas
- dry lentils (I like to use different colors, strictly for aesthetic purposes)
- orzo or other small pasta
- barley
- basil
- oregano
- marjoram
- salt
- pepper
- milk

1. Heat oil and dump in the chopped onion and garlic, brown, and then turn to low heat and let them carmelize. I am a fan of one-pan cooking, so I brown my onions and garlic right in my soup kettle. Alternatively you could use a frying pan. I cook them until the onions are translucent, and then pour in the stock and some water.

2. The things that will take the longest to cook are the peas and beans, so they go in first.

3. Then the dried veggies, because the longer they cook the tastier they get! Or whatever veggies you are using. If fresh, carrots should definitely go early, celery and sweet pepper could wait a bit.

4. Then the barley. Consider washing it before it goes in the pot.

5. Then come the herbs. I like to use large-ish quantities because its fun, but I am sure a more professional cook would say easy does it. Bah!

6. Let this simmer for around 45 minutes to an hour, or until the peas/beans/barley are cooked through.

7. Add the pasta - this only takes a few minutes to cook.

8. Add the milk. You really don't need too much. I add enough to make the broth opaque, and then I add more when reheating.

9. The longer this soup cook the better it gets. My favorite is actually the next day, reheated. Or maybe the day after that... I enjoy it with cheddar cheese and flavoured with soy sauce.

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