Thursday, January 15, 2009

Negative 2

I HAVE A BLENDER!!! And it is orange! Yippee!! Now I can make milkshakes! And daiquiris! And, and... well, I'm sure I'll find plenty of things to make. It came in yesterday, this Christmas present of mine. And like the frydaddy, has yet to be used. Primarily because it is -2 outside and I am trying to not go out there. And my cupboards, while not bare, are not all that well stocked. Tonight is the night I am supposed to do dinner with the folks, but seeing how that would require me to walk to the store (about 4 blocks, in a town where 8 blocks = a mile) I don't see that happening. Unless my mother goes to the store on the way home and calls to find out what we need. But as cold as it is, I hope she opts not to do that. So tonight's meal will likely be whatever I have in the house. Pasta. As usual.
Let me explain the weather situation here. I have ice on the insides of my windows. LOTS of it. INSIDE. And my room is actually warm. The heater is over-enthusiastic. I think that caused condensation on the windows (which are directly above the heater) and the insanely low temperatures outside caused that to ice over. But really, ice? Inside?
I'm thinking I should be making soups with that new blender. Anyone out there have any good ones?

--Little Bird is attempting to stay warm


SaffronButterfly said...

Congrats on your new blender!

My husband calls me the Queen of potato soups. The recipe I came up with several years ago that started my obsession is below. I've never tried blending it, but that might be a nifty alternative to adding cornstarch (of course, I'd suggest blending just the potatoes and turnips, and then continuing with the recipe, unless you like frapped bacon). I apologize if some of the instructions seem a little obvious - I copied this from an email I sent to a non-cooking friend ;)

Potato Leek Soup

3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, diced
2 medium turnips, diced, purple skin peeled (I don't peel the skin that isn't purple---I can't see it)
1/2 to 1 cup sliced cabbage (I used about 1/4 of a head and sliced into medium shreds)
1 bunch leeks
3 cans chicken broth (14 oz. cans)
salt, garlic, ground bay, ground thyme, marjoram

In large soup kettle (with lid) simmer cabbage, potatoes and turnips in chicken broth. While simmering, add spices (I used garlic powder, probably the equivalent of 1 large clove fresh). I used about a 1/2 tsp salt, probably just a little more than 1/2 tsp for both bay and thyme. I probably added about 1/4 tsp marjoram, maybe a little more. I really didn't measure the spices, I just shook them in and stirred, and added more until it was yummy. Put lid on pot and simmer while preparing leeks.

To prepare leeks, chop off the little rootlets at the bottom, and the top inch of the green part. Remove the two outermost leaf layers, slice the bunch lengthwise down middle and chop into cross-sections as you would green onions (about 1/4 inch wide sections). Dump the chopped leeks into a colander and wash well (they are very dirty inside). Strain excess water and add leeks to soup pot. Fry up some bacon (make sure it's cooked but soft) and toss into soup.

Let soup simmer stirring occasionally until the turnips are soft (they take longer than potatoes). Mix cornstarch with a little water and add to soup to thicken. Serve with biscuits!

FYI- to tell cooking turnips from potatoes....turnips always look radishy, even when cooked. While potatoes look like somewhat undifferentiated white cubes, turnips always appear to have a slightly fibrous structure. When in doubt, taste it! Turnips taste like mild radishes.

Little Bird said...

Mmmm, bacon!!
This sounds yummy! I'm also finding that leeks are a beautiful thing, just oniony enough. Thank you for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Neener says: A favorite trick of mine for thickening is to cook a couple extra potatoes (vicar free) and mash them. Mix them back in and instant thickening! No cornstarch....

mamabird said...

that potato leek soup recipe sounds fantastic. When little bird was a baby I was the soup and casserole queen, I used to make a mean leek and potato soup but the recipe posted here sounds way better. Whataya say Littlebird? Sunday evening?

Little Bird said...

What, we're going to have dinner at my place? If I bring the blender over to your place, it'll be there for DAYS! Besides, what else would we have with the soup? Are we going to try our hand at baking bread? That could be interesting!

Judy said...

Oh, potato soup would be great! Use butterfly's recipe, but put just a portion in the blender to smooth it out, then add it back to the rest of the soup. Yummola! Oh, and put a bread machine on your wish list. You can't go wrong with soup and freshly baked bread! (P.S., Avis, this is Judy from failblog!)

mamabird said...

potato and leek soup with homemade bread! Perfect! It's a date Sunday evening. What tasty adult beverage can we serve with that?

Little Bird said...

I assume you mean something that will utilize the blender. Margaritas don't seem to go so well with that meal plan. So I' gonna go with wine for you and beer for me. Though... you might want a stout. Again, I'll stick with beer.

Anonymous said...

Neener's Crock-Pot Split Pea Soup.

I made this yesterday and gave some to my boss. She fed it to her 96-year-old dad who ran a restaurant for 45 years. He said it was the best he's ever had. So there.

In a 4.5 qt. Crock-Pot place 1 ham bone, trimmed but with fat and meat bits remaining. Cover with water and cook on low for 6 hours. Turn off heat, allow to cool, place in the 'fridge (or outside if you're in Chicago). When the fat solidifies skim and remove bone(s).

Add 24oz dried split peas, yellow or green - doesn't matter. Soak overnight.

Peel and dice 3 medium carrots. Dice or chop 2 stalks of celery and 1/2 to 1 medium brown onion. Put them in the pot. Add 1/2 to 1 lb of diced ham. I often use a can (8 oz) of minced ham I get at the 99 cent store.

Cover with water.

Cook on high, covered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add spices. I always use 1/4 cup dried parsley, 2-3 bay leaves, and some rosemary is nice. Thyme works too. This time I used some "Steak Seasoning" in a grinder, but it's kind of strong, so use sparingly. Also, a tablespoon of black pepper is nice.

Continue cooking on high for about 2-3 more hours, or until the mix has lost its graininess. Stir every half hour, more towards the end. When it's nearly done it will form large bubbles, and after that will turn to a thick goo that reminds me of a Yellowstone mudpot. Burble, burble.

Add salt to taste and serve with a crisp salad. A Sauvignon Blanc is your friend.