Happy Valentine's Day! And tomorrow, Happy Birthday to Me! The problem: I'm just a little busy to get it together enough to make a nice meal for either special occasion. Celebrations will just have to wait until after papers are graded. Lucky for me, I have a very patient husband.
I got called by my old employer to work the lead nuclear tech's maternity leave. Naturally, this would happen during the last two weeks of class. Also during the week of my grandmother's 91st birthday. But fortunately after Nora's birthday! I'll do my best to enjoy the time at work (but away from my daughter) because change is good for variety, especially if you're in a rut.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I did it again. I ran from work home to reheat the soup in the Crock Pot and over to the church to get it served. Then some friends came that I hadn't seen in a while. And of course, Mom brought Nora over. So, I never got around to a picture of this pretty and tasty soup. I dipped my pinky-finger in as I was heating it up to make sure it had enough flavor, but didn't get a good taste. However, there were a number of people who had seconds. So, I think I'm safe in saying it was good.
Recipe for White Bean Vegetable Soup
4 inner stalks celery, including leaves
1 medium onion
4 small carrots, diced
4 slices jalapeno
2 bay leaves
1 T oil
1 T herbed salt
2 lbs. dry great northern beans (You could use any white bean, but I'm partial to Great Northern.)
Soak beans overnight and cook according to package directions. Add 2 bay leaves before you start the cooking process. When beans are nearly finished cooking, chop onion and celery in a food processor. Saute all produce in oil until carrots are soft.
Remove the bay leaves. In a blender, puree roughly 4 cups of beans and water. Return to pot and stir. Consider the thickness of the soup and how much puree you want. Add vegetable mixture and herb-salt to beans, reheating as necessary.
Serving suggestion: In deep plate, ladle soup over thick, hearty, multigrain (for color) bread and sprinkle with paprika.
It's been so long since I posted a menu plan--not because I didn't have one, but because there were other things to talk about. Plus, there were the holidays when you generally just think of leftovers for every meal.
I don't know how I took this picture sideways or how to straighten it out. I'm not so computer literate. In the photo, the tahini dressing is actually over my favorite couscous recipe.
I was looking for a dairy-free tzatziki dressing to go with the falafel a couple weeks back as two of our guests had milk allergies. This dressing was exactly what I was looking for. In fact, I preferred it over the Tzatziki.
In soup pot, warm olive oil and add onions. If the onions are frozen, they cook faster, so add the celery and carrots pretty quickly after the onions are coated in oil and warmed. Add the water mixed with the McKay's, then the lentils. Bring all to a boil, turn down to medium and simmer about 30 minutes. That's what it took for me, and they were still a little crunchy. Add the rice and warm through. Add less rice or more water for stew.
The sides are not gluten-free. Worthington Skallops are from a can and pan-fried in just a touch of oil to keep them from sticking. The biscuit recipe came from Smitten Kitten and tasted so good dipped in the broth.
Saute onions in soup pot or sauce pan about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and celery. Stir. Mix seasoning in water and pour into pot. Cover pot and cook about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. (The original recipe called for white potatoes. I think they sometimes take longer to cook. Sweet potatoes seem to cook faster to me.) When vegetables are soft, add milk then cheese. The key is to have small cubes of cheese and to add them gradually so they don't clump.
Ladle the soup into a blender. (Be really careful because the blender may splatter when you turn it on. I have a silicone trivet that I cover the blender with so the soup won't splatter and burn my fingers. A towel could work, too.) Reheat soup and serve garnished with fresh herbs as desired. I bet green onions or chives would have been yummy if we had had any. Also, ground red pepper seemed to be a nice addition, too.
The weather has definitely been a topic in the news. So, why should it be any different on a cooking blog? After all, you gotta stay warm! Soup is certainly key to warming up the inside--not to mention, it's often a great assistant in losing or maintaining weight if that was part of your New Year's Resolution.