Sakai bought a large Lodge cast iron black pot to put on top of our wood burning stove. The pot added a lot to the ranch ambience. Seasoned a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to use the pot to cook something hearty - like a stew or soup. Such moment arrived.
Yesterday, we've had more than ten inches of snow in Tehachapi. My neighbor, Deborah, down the road said Tehachapi hasn't had snow like this in two years. We ventured out into the snow and had ribs at Red House BBQ for lunch. A lot of people had the same idea. The restaurant was more crowded than we expected.
Today, it snowed even more. All I did today was idly watch the snow fall. I took a walk down Old Country Road and made a snow man. It was my first snowman in years.
After all the outdoor adventures, feeling almost like a kid again, I suddenly felt really cold, and I wanted to eat something warm. So came Soup time! I gathered up the vegetables in the fridge and basket and began chopping them up to make a vegetable soup. I was in pretty good shape to make a hearty soup because I had made the chicken broth in advance. (It's a good thing to keep around in the freezer for these moments.)
The soup consisted of kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, zuchinni, spring onions, spanish onion, parsely and garlic. I let the vegetables simmer for a couple of hours in the rich broth. I made enough soup to last three days. I also fixed a quick carrot and daikon radish salad with some cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I grilled the remaining half of the salmon I had in the fridge and served brown rice onigiri. It was a warming supper, which is exactly what Sakai needed, after spending most of the day working outside in the snow.
WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP
8-10 cups Chicken Broth (preferrably homemade) Use the chicken broth from the
3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick, crosswise
2 zuchinnis, sliced 1/4 inch thick, crosswise
3 kale leaves, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
5 parsley sprigs, chopped for garnish
1/4 cup Olive oil or more, as needed
In a large cast iron pot, use about 1/4 cup of olive oil to saute the vegetables. Start with the onions. When they soften, add the potatoes, carrots, zuchinnis, kale and garlic and saute over medium heat for about
5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to aboil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup in bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.