Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cabbage soup and a glass of wine, therapy for a long drive

To think I thought Seattle traffic was bad and Michigan would be a piece of cake. Apparently not! This morning it took me 15 minutes door-to-door; tonight was over an hour to getting home. I was the kind of frustrated only a glass of wine and some soothing food would fix, so the soup was on. I had all the right ingredients to make a simple soup on hand, in my kitchen. Making a soup is such a simple process, and yields so much product with flavors as simple or complex as you want them to be. After a soothing half hour at the counter and stove, I sat down to a tasty and healthy meal with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (nothing fancy, so I won't bore you with the details) and let my drive stress float away. After all, I'll be doing it again tomorrow.

As a side note to impromptu recipes: I seem to still be too nervous to try out food experiments on the boy for fear of a bad reaction, things I did not concern myself with too much while living with the girls. Thanks ladies ;) Apparently I love you as testers for strange concoctions, admittedly not always with good results. But tonight was just me and a bottle of red (No, of course not the whole bottle! ... I wouldn't be writing this right now, that is for sure!) so I just threw the cut veggies in the pot, and let it rip. With a decent return on my investment of time and resources, I'm am pleased to count this soup experiment successful!

Cabbage/Potato/Millet Soup
(I really roughed this out, so feel free to take the idea and run with it in any direction you wish ;)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Stalks from a bunch of broccoli* (I just had it in the fridge, but feel free to omit)
1 Quart of Chicken or Vegetable stock
1 Tb Vinegar (I learned in school, you've gotta have the acid! use apple cider or champagne for this one)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dry oregano (and whatever herbs/spices sound good to you!)
1/2 cup Millet
3 Red potatoes, peel and dice (if you do this while the mirepoix sweats, you won't end up with brown potatoes)
1/4 head Cabbage, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, carrots, celery & a pinch of salt, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. 
2.  Stir in the stock, add the bay leaf, oregano, millet & potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes.  Then, stir in the cabbage and cook for 10-15 more minutes, or until potatoes, grains and veggies reach desired textures. Salt and pepper as you see like. That's it!

*When trimming broccoli stalks, I do end up with a lot of waste, as it is a fairly fibrous part of the veggie. Better to use it, than toss it though! I did not blend this soup and the pieces are eaten whole, so I want it all gone. Trim all the exterior of the stalk, so you just have the middle portion that is much lighter in color and dice like you would normally. 

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