Saturday, December 8, 2012

A French Country Weekend

          Yesterday morning, I threw open the curtains -- and what did I see? Snow! 

          It was a light dusting, just enough to cover the grass. Charlotte stood at the front door, still sleepy, looked up and couldn't believe it. When memory clicked in she dashed out to frolic, chase the birds and make big, wide circles of joy.

          By the time I returned from errands it was a pitiful mess thanks to rain so I didn't take a picture. The one above is looking part way down our driveway two years ago. I'm hoping that may happen again, but it's unlikely. It was a first in that quantity.
          Today is soup-making day. Just back from the market with: celery and celery root, baby turnips, zucchini, leeks, carrots, broccoli, green beans and potatoes -- talk about antioxidants. We have a major family controversy about soup. I like mine all mixed into a potage while My-Reason-For-Living-In-France likes "to see all the vegetables." I feel as if the creaminess of the mix is more satisfying in the winter. I'll probably do a fifty-fifty.

A demain mes, très, très chers amis for next week's calendar. I hope you have a perfect weekend. 


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I love soup on a cold winter day and snow makes it perfect! Hope you have a relaxing weekend and perhaps there will be a lovely walk in the snow with your RFLIF.

LPC said...

Would be so nice to sit inside and eat soup together.

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Why does snow always look so inviting in pictures but is so darn cold once you get out into it? I would love snow if we could play in it when it is 65 degrees out!

Enjoy your weekend, Tish!!

Splenderosa said...

Snow & Soup...what could be more perfect?

helen tilston said...

Hello Tish

I love the vegetables used in your soup and I would prefer your formula of blending.

Enjoy your weekend


That's Not My Age said...

Had some lovely veg and lentil soup today in our local coffee shop. Personally, I prefer creamy to lumpy.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Oh I am so jealous...I would love to throw open the windows and see snow and eat wonderful is humid and in the 80s today, but I hear a cold front is on its way. Enjoy the snow for those of us in Texas who only dream of it!

Déjà Pseu said...

I like soup both ways, and have been making (and eating) lots of vegetable soup lately. Glad Charlotte was able to enjoy the snow while it lasted!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

It's difficult to get my head around the cold weather comfort food and a white landscape when we have been intermittently experiencing temperatures around 100 - 104 deg F. Bonne semaine.

david terry said...

Dear Tish,

To begin with (and Iexpect this will astonish nearly every mother who reads your blog), I have a nephew who is an utterly normal 8 year old boy in every respect except one: He's a complete freak for Brocolli. According to his and my mothers(mine has always babysitted him and knows his ways, he would eat it at every meal...and, no, he doesn't want ANYTHING (not even salt or butter) on it...just the steamed brocolli, please.

He was visiting here, along with his parents, older brother (who hates brocolli), and my mother. After they'd left, I realized that I (no particular fan of brocolli) was left with two large bags of the stuff in my refrigerator.

I couldn't think of anything "new" to do with it, so I went to Nigel Slater's wonderful, new-ish vegetable (not to be mistaken for "vegetarian") cookbook, "Tender: A Cook & His Vegetable Patch".

I found the most wonderful soup "recipe" (like a lot of good things,it's really more of an idea than a list of precise instructions). I've been happily eating the stuff for two days. It's simple, but a combination I wouldn't have thought of on my lonesome.

Presumably, one can vary the proportions of the ingredients as one chooses. That said?....simply brown four chopped onions in a bit of oil, add a lot (or a little) of finely chopped bacon.....brown all of that, drain it, and set aside to cool. Use some of the bacon grease to sautee sliced/diced/whatever potatoes (I used about 8), drain them on paper towels. This is not supposed to be a bacon-greasy soup.

Steam or microwave your brocolli; don't overcook it. put the cooked broccoli, the onion/bacon mixture, and cooked potatoes ( I diced and boiled mine, actually) in a blender. Add equal parts of milk and chicken broth (the amount will depend, of course, on how soupy you want your soup to be). Then, whiz the merry hell out of the entire business and congratulate yourself on having just made a complete meal.

It's awfully good, quite wintery-filling, and very simple. Just onions, bacon, potatoes, brocolli, milk and chicken stock....a simple combination that would never have occurred to me. Obviously, it could also be made with a food-mill.

since I still have lots of chives out in the garden, I added those as a big garnish.

So, this is now going to be one of my go-to winter soups (this household eats a LOT of soups).

I thought I'd just pass that "recipe" on. And, just for the record, I told my sister-in-law (whom I like a great deal) about it; her reply was "Oh no...Mikey wouldn't eat it....he wants JUST THE BROCOLLI."

She agreed with me that 8 year old boys can present far worse dilemnas for their mothers than requiring that they're to be given plain broccoli at every meal.

Level Best as Ever,
David Terry

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

what a beautiful sight you have looking down your drive! Merry Christmas and I loved reading your blog this morning. :)

Kathy said...

Hope you get snow like two years ago - that photo is beautiful. Make lots of vegetable soups, but pureed.

Wild Oak Designs said...

LOve the picture! We don't get snow here in Southern California. Soup however is a great meal and I have it often. (though I don't have a soup making day)...My hubby prefers to have small bites as well, and I like it a bit I do as you do, I do a little of both...and now I have an immersion blender, it makes it easier!

david terry said...

Oh......after years and years of intensive cookng I just got my first immersion blender (my second, actually; I gave the first away after getting it as a gift).

Surely-purely, I can't be the only person who's reminded,when folks come in the door into the kitchen and see that thing lying on the counter (it doesn't fit into any of the drawers), of the times I walked into some female friend's apartment during the 80's and saw something similar (usually on top of the most recent issue of "Cosmopolitan" or "
Ms. Magazine") before she shrieked and embarassedly shoved it away into a closet.

I'm not kidding, by the way. One of my more refreshingly blunt (if not exactly fine-cookery-ing) lesbian friends saw the immersion-blender recently, asked what it was, and (with a highly arched eyebrow) said "You're kidding, right? COOK with that thing?...."

I thought that was amusing.

Just wondering,

David Terry (who has known more than his fair share ofwomen of a certain age and a certain type over the years.....).

BigLittleWolf said...

I am an avid fan (and maker of) homemade soup - whatever veggies look wonderful, chopped and tossed into the pressure cooker.

Sometimes I leave the vegetables whole; sometimes I blend but like some chunks even in that version.

A touch of light sour cream and parsley... heaven, in any season.

Vicki said...

David is a wicked boy, but I do love the soup tip, broccoli being my least-favorite vegetable but one of the necessary ones for good health. Tish, gotta say, I like chunky for soup. I'm trying to get adventurous with some of the more unconventional veggies. I swear I can drink/eat a cup of soup for breakfast; it just feels so healing!

Tish Jett said...

A little boy who eats broccoli straight up must be a treasure. Can't wait to try your soup recipe, David. We have a problem finding that nice crunchy American bacon over here. I'll have to find a suitable substitute.

We did a full-chunk soup last night and a blended tonight -- less complicated like that.

Hmmm, lentils. Maybe next week. I love lentils.

One day, Lisa, one day. . .

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