Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Soup Conference Call

The snow is deep. The fire is warm and the food is good, but again...the snow is deep. The only one to brave the snowbanks was The Neighbour. I guess technically SS goes for another 49 minutes, so someone else could show up.

About 5:30 we got a call from The Handyman to say their road hadn't been ploughed and they couldn't get out so The Fleece Lady (Handyman's wife... so nicknamed because she makes the best fleece socks ever) was making soup for the two of them in honour of Sunday Soup. The hilarious part was that The Handyman had called not to tell me they weren't coming, but to find out what the soup was and who was here. When I told him White Bean with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes and he repeated it to The Fleece Lady, there were big sighs of disappointment in the background. Then they heard there was cornbread and they started wondering if maybe they could hike out to the main road and hitchhike the rest of the way. When the Handyman started asking what The Southerner and The Neighbour were talking about I put him on speaker phone so he could join in, which he did. He even sang us a jazzy rendition of Joy To The World. In the end, I had to promise to put away a bit of soup and cornbread for them both.

Someone on The Southerner's photo blog was asking for a good winter soup recipe, so here is the one I made today. It is an original recipe that just popped into my head yesterday when I was trying to think of a holiday coloured soup. All measurements are approximate.

2 cups small white beans*
water to cover
2-2 1/2 quarts of vegetable stock
1 package frozen leaf spinach
3/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup milk or plain Silk (soymilk)

Cover white beans with water and bring to a boil in a 5-6 quart heavy pan (do not salt or beans will get tough). After they've reached a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (2-3 hours).

In a separate pot, make vegetable stock (or used canned, but really, it's so much easier and practically free to make it out of vegetable scraps...). Add to beans about an hour into simmering them. Note: If you want your soup to be white, use water and skip the stock, but the stock adds a lot of flavour.

When beans are tender, remove about half of them to another bowl and puree the beans and stock. Add the beans back in along with the tomatoes, spinach and milk or Silk. Salt and pepper to taste. That's it!

*Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pre-soak beans. If you cook them long enough, they get tender. I never bother anymore and it always works out fine.

Oh, wait! There were two other guests who dropped in too! But they just wanted apples.

P.S. Since we moved to Canada, I have tried to adopt Canadian spellings. The Southerner just called me on "plough" so I looked it up. Apparently you can use either here in Canada, but plow is used most often. However, this is a word I have ALWAYS spelled as plough and I didn't even realize a tonne of people spell it plow until a year or so ago. I guess it's all the British books I read. Doughnut is another word that I just realized that a lot of people spell donut. Dialogue is another (dialog...blah). So while I don't seem to know if I'm a Brit, American, or Canadian, as my father always says, "You know what I meant."


AnneB said...

What a great soup recipe, Joelle! I have everything on hand but the frozen spinach, so I've put it on the grocery list. This past Friday I became brave and added a parsnip to a creamy potato soup I've been making--nobody complained so I guess it was a hit.

AnneB said...

Finally made this soup tonight, Joelle, substituting garbanzo beans for white beans because the canellini mysteriously disappeared (probably into the last batch of minestrone). My husband has said TWICE in the past hour that I can make that soup any time!

I took a risk and used the two batches of veggie stock I had labeled "a bit cabbage-y" because I had used broccoli and kale stems, but it worked just fine!