Sunday, July 13, 2008

This Soup Rocks!

This soup rocks. I can say that it's really delicious because I mostly followed a recipe. I mean, if I make it up, I try to be more modest and wait for everyone else's opinion, but this is kind of like the tomato-orange soup in that I already know it's just really good, So there you have it.

My mum got me a tiny cookbook a few years ago called SOUP. I glanced through it a bit, but not too much as there seemed to be a lot of meat recipes in it. I discovered the other day though that the Vegetable Soups at the front are not the only vegetarian soups, but many of the Bean & Grain soups, as well as the Special Occasion Soups are also vegetarian. I feel like I just got a new cookbook. Thanks, Mum!

It's been fairly warm here. The locals are complaining that it's HOT, but The Southerner and I just laugh and zip up our fleeces...I mean, really! Hot? Haha! It's been in the low 80s F on its warmest days and a lot cooler than that here in the trees! And no humidity! None! Anyway, to appease the locals, I decided to make a Chilled Cucumber and Walnut Soup from the Special Occasion section of this book. I'm really glad I tested this because let me tell you, while it's quite tasty, NO ONE could eat a bowl of it! It tastes like tatziki! You know, that cucumber yogurt dip for pita bread? Well, that's how we're eating it, thank you very much. It's quite good with roasted Walla Walla onions dipped in it too. Anyway...

Today's soup comes from this book too and is called Green Vegetable Soup, but while I was making it, I was listening to that novel, GODS BEHAVING BADLY, and so I have goddesses on the brain, so I'm calling it Green Goddess Soup. As you can imagine, it has a lot of green vegetables in it: green onions (calls for leeks, but I had these beautiful fresh-from-the-farm green onions so I used those instead), green beans, spinach, basil pesto, edamame, fresh shelled peas, and a few not so green veggies like potatoes, carrots, and kohlrabi (also from the farm). I think the most exciting part of today's soup is that all soups, but vegetable ones in particular, get better if you let them sit in the fridge overnight. The Green Goddess soup was yummy yesterday, but I think it will be really delicious today. And if no one likes it, we're buying a freezer later this week, so I'll just freeze it and eat it all myself.

The bread is a surprise still as I have to make a test batch to find out if my recipe is any good. More on that tonight. Oh, and Carol, if you're reading this, Calvin just showed up for soup seven hours early, so I gave him some catnip and he rolled around on the patio for a while and then wandered off. Probably to get you a snake from the snake pit (apparently, the gully in the front of our yard is a haven for snakes and Calvin brings Carol one most days - but don't worry, I have no intention of making snake soup, even if he does start bringing them to me!).

Apparently Calvin was listening this morning when he arrived seven hours early and I sent him home and told him to come back at 4pm, because at 4pm, he started biting Carol on the elbow. When she went in to see if he needed food, the bowls were full...He wanted to come to Sunday Soup! We know this because as soon as she headed this way, he trotted along behind her. Obviously, he has added SS to his calendar. Cats lead very busy lives, thus making a palm pilot desirable to those with opposable thumbs like Grinder. Cats like Calvin who have cool tails, but just normal paws, have to keep the whole thing in their heads, which makes them very tired. I believe Cal's entries look something like this:

8am Nap
8:30 Check in next door to make sure it's Sunday and the catnip supply is still good
9am Get in a few zzzzzs
10am Eat
11am Get petted
11:30 am Rest up for lunch
12pm Lunch
1pm Nap
2 pm Eat
3pm Sleep in the sun
4pm Sunday Soup
4:05pm Get a hit of catnip
4:06pm crash out on the picnic table until it's time to go home

We had a lovely turnout and some newcomers, including a new person to our little community, which is always nice! The soup was even better today (if I do say so myself, and I do because it's my blog after all) and all I had to do was add some fresh parsley and a little more salt. We put a pretty big dent in about eight quarts.

The "bread" was cheese scones with chives. The recipe came from another little cookbook that my mum gave me (Do you see a pattern? She must love tiny cookbooks!) of English recipes for teas (as in high tea, not Earl Grey variations). So far I've mostly used this book to make English Rock Cakes which are basically a lot of butter, some dried fruit, an egg and flour, but today I tried the Lancashire Cheese Scones (with cheddar from Toronto - I many cows do they have in Toronto? But cheese is expensive here in Canada and this cheese is reasonably good and The Southerner likes cheese so I have to buy the big blocks of it and so that's what I had the most of and in it went despite the small population of cows in Toronto).

Anyway, the scones turned out lovely and two of our friends who blatantly ignore the "you don't have to bring anything" suggestion and always brings LOVELY, FABULOUS, TASTY things and then leave the leftovers, (and is therefore always welcome at Sunday Soup) brought clotted cream and cherry jam, which went very well with cheese scones, although, I wouldn't have really thought of it myself because of the chives. But they were dried chives (I forgot to request that The Southerner bring some fresh ones home from the community garden), so they weren't that strong anyway.

As my Irish friend told me last week when she brought us peaches, "I was raised in Ireland and there you never go to someone's house with your arms the same length. One hand should be carrying something." Just for the record here, the "You don't need to bring anything guideline" is for one reason only. It is so that our friends never say, "Oh, today is Sunday Soup, but I don't have anything to bring. I guess I'll go next week." We want y'all to feel free to drop in even if you're walking down the street and hear the laughter from our porch and suddenly remember it's Sunday.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention our guests who came at the very last minute. They weren't interested in soup. In fact, the two youngest ones only wanted milk, and the older one wanted carrots. Yes! The mama deer brought her two fawns right into the yard and not only did she let them nurse (which she doesn't do that much anymore), but she stood around with them as if she was showing them off for us. This is the first time she's done that. Then one of the bucks came into the yard, and usually the mama runs off with her babies when the males come, but this time she just ignored him. He wanted carrots though and so I gave him bits and pieces from all the carrot ends from last week's soup (by hand) and one of the fawns got within about fifteen of us and watched, wanting carrots, but not really quite that brave. Unfortunately, we were all too excited to run for the camera, so you'll just have to use your imagination. It was a very exciting end to Sunday Soup. So exciting in fact that after they left, everyone packed up and went home too. Even Calvin.

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