October 16, 2008

Soup season

This is by far my favorite time of the year, especially here in New England. I love how the intensity and heat of summer gradually morph into the intense colors and crisp air of autumn which then slowly fades into winter. And there is that day every year, usually in late September, when I realize with great joy that soup season is upon us once again. Along with soup season comes the cozy goodness of sweaters, long pants, wearing shoes with socks and putting the flannel sheets and feather duvet back on the bed.

Since opening day this year I've managed to produce the following soups: two varieties featuring beans (one with salt pork and one with dried beef), curried split pea, turkey curry meatball, a hearty beef stew and several batches of my standby favorite, chicken vegetable. I'm convinced that what makes this vegetable soup special is that it stars crunchy celery. For most of my life I refused to eat celery; I didn't like the strong taste and stringiness of it raw or the limp flavor and sogginess of it cooked. One day I was reading a recipe and realized that I could put chopped celery directly into the soup stock (as opposed to sauteing them first) and they would stay crisp but mellow in flavor. I'm sure everyone in the world knew this fact except me, but trust me that it rocked my world in a very good way.

Easy Vegetable Soup

3 carrots, peeled & diced
2 large potatoes, peeled & diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled & bruised (smack them with the side of a knife)
1/4 cup powdered chicken broth (I use Vegeta)
1 chicken breast

In a large stock pot, add the vegetables and fill with water until they are submerged ~2 inches. Bring to a boil on high heat, add the chicken breast, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Once chicken breast is cooked through, remove and cut into bite-size cubes and return to pot. Continue to simmer with the cover on until vegetables are tender. Season with salt & pepper to taste and enjoy with some fresh corn bread.

I hope you like it.


The Calico Cat said...

You soup sounds good, thanks for sharing.
(The turkey curry one sounds good too.)

Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

I love soup. I love many, many vegetables. Celery is not one of them. But I'm curious about this new method and may have to try it out.