I make soup late at night, gently pulling the cooked chicken away from the bones. Keeping one eye on the clock, (I have a skype date in half an hour) I chop vegetables and and sprinkle herbs into my simmering stock.
One of the beautiful things about chicken soup is its endless flexibility. You can put almost any kind of vegetable in it, chop them small or leave them in larger wedges. You can add rice, noodles, or quinoa. Fresh herbs, dried herbs, or spices. Eat with sharp cheddar cheese or fresh from the oven biscuits. There is a link for a chicken stew by Molly Wizenberg this week, follow it if you’re new at this, but if you have the knack of making soup play around and let your senses (or your kitchen pantry) guide you.
For me this week there are carrots cut into rounds in my soup, with garlic, ginger, and potatoes. These simmer until just tender, and then diced zucchini goes in for 5 minutes. I chop the last of my savoy cabbage and keep it until the end with the already cooked chicken. Thyme, salt and pepper make up the rest of my seasoning.
While my vegetables are simmering, the ingredients of my buckwheat scones come together. (As I noted in “Planning Ahead” you will want to make these cornmeal biscuits instead this week, I’ll get back to you on buckwheat scones once they taste like something other than paste.)
It’s time for a chat with the lovely Andrea Podracky, so I scoop the chicken and savoy cabbage into the pot, turn off the heat, season to taste and leave my soup to do its thing. It is fine but not delicious when I pick up the phone; however, by the time I am done everything has come together beautifully in a deliciously balanced meal. Sometimes, soup just needs to sit.
Quinoa salad was made on Sunday while the pork roast was tucked away in the warm oven, filling the house with heat and good smells. Curry is Wednesday night – a breathtaking evening of sunshine and pristine clarity on the Côte d’Azure.
Here at least, we’re getting closer to the season for raw vegetables and home-brewed iced tea. Not yet though, now is still time for slow cooked meats and spicy vegetarian curries.
Keep reading – “On the Side.” tells you all the details for how to make a killer sauce to dress your pulled pork with.