There is nothing better than hot food on a cold day. It’s just that simple. While we may not have the blessings and bounty that come with the harvest seasons, there is plenty of culinary magic that can happen in the winter months.
From perfecting hot cocoa concoctions
(the secret is in the marshmallows)
to baking gingerbread cookies with the kids…Okay, the cookies aren’t nearly as fun as the fact that the dough looks remarkably like, well, just look for yourself….
In the world’s worst transition, I’ll go back to being a grown up and say: there is something about snow that always makes me think of bread making. The aroma seems to sit in the air like a blanket, warm, thick, golden.
And the soups! Oh, the soups! What better way to savor the last of your frozen summer spinach or corn or blanched green beans than to cook up a pot of piping hot soup. My winter favorites include corn chowder, chicken noodle, and this delicious potato apple (a bonus: many of the local orchards keep apples stored all winter, so you can take advantage of the close-to-home difference even in when the trees are lined white and not red)!:
1 red onion, chopped
3 tbl olive oil
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 apples, peeled and chopped
3-4 potatoes (about fist sized– a big fist), peeled and chopped
1 cup + 1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup apple juice
1 tbl minced ginger
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbl chives, chopped
1 tbl thyme (dried is fine)
1. Saute onion in olive oil in a dutch oven over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Add the celery and leek and saute 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes.
2. Stir in apple and next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered 45 minutes
3. Use an immersion blender or a large food processor to puree the soup. Return to the dutch oven, add the half and half, heat and stir. Top with sprinkles of thyme and chives. You can also get fancy and add baked apple rings (thinly sliced apples on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, sprinkled with cinnamon) to each bowl.
This would be a great place to show you a picture of the fantastic finished product, complete with baked apple rings. If, however, forgetfulness strikes when it comes to taking a photo of said soup, a sample picture of a soup ladle in an empty dutch oven has to suffice.
Day Five is right here.