All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cannellini bean soup with golden chard and brussels sprouts

Wonderful produce from Mississippi Market in St. Paul inspired this soup yesterday: cannellini beans, golden chard, a few brussels sprouts, fresh rosemary, thyme, onion, olive oil, sweet butter, chicken broth. Oh, and a slug of hot sauce:)  It was so good I made it again today.

The recipe

Cannellini Bean Soup with golden chard and brussels sprouts:

1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup good chicken broth
1 cup water 
one 15 oz. can cannellini beans, partly drained of the canned bean liquid
1 1/2 or 2 cups roughly chopped golden chard, both leaves and stems
3/4 cup sliced brussels sprouts (the ones I got were huge)
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to your taste
hot sauce to your taste

Saute the onion in the oil and butter in a large pot.  When golden, add the chicken stock and water, then the canned beans with their liquid.  Stir gently on low heat, then add the chard, brussels sprouts, scallions, rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper.

Cook uncovered on low heat until the chard and brussels sprouts are tender, stirring slowly.  If it seems to be too thick, add a little more stock or water .

Taste test before serving, adding more salt if needed. Serve with rolls or French bread.

SO good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

leek and potato soup (vichyssoise)

A chill in the air the last few days:  the inevitable march toward autumn and winter.  My friend Joe and I took what might be our last walk halfway around Como Lake .  A beautiful sunny day, and a parade of almost every dog you can imagine.  The food vendors were gone and the windows shuttered, but the fall wildflowers were blooming everywhere , and just enough briskness to the air to be thankful for that pot of vichyssoise in the fridge.  Served not cold, but carefully warmed up (never bring to a boil once the cream is added!) and served with some very good cheese and steamed kale.  

Leek and potato soup (vichyssoise)

2 cups yellow or red potatoes, cut in large dice
2 cups sliced white of leek (you can include a little of the pale green)
2 tablespoons sliced white of scallions
Half chicken stock, half water to cover the potatoes and leeks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh dill
3/4 cup medium cream
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes, scallions and leeks in large pot or saucepan.
Cover with half water/half chicken stock.
Add the thyme and dill.
Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft.
Remove from heat.  
Scoop out a cup of the broth and reserve.
Puree the soup, then add the cream.  Add reserved broth if needed.
Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

                                           Happy Autumn!


Friday, September 16, 2016

freezing basil and a little vacation

I am back from a splendid "vacation" visiting my daughter and three grandchildren (and the cats and doggie) in their lovely house in Minneapolis. It was truly a wonderful visit, in spite of the alarming moment when the puppy Maisie ran away (found a few blocks away hanging out with a little brewfest party:), and the sigh when I realized, yes.  The three year old still bellows his rising and shining at 4 or 5 am.  I was thrilled to find the lavender turtleheads flowering in the side yard, right on schedule as it is in New Hampshire.

Now back at my place, and checking on my basil in my little garden, I saw the first golden leaf beside the bush.   First an inhaling of that wonderful scent, and then snipping away to fill a bowlful of those gorgeous, fragrant leaves.  It rained last night, but by afternoon the leaves were dry - perfect for freezing.

This is a trick I learned some time ago - that if you clip basil when it's perfectly dry and place in a clean, dry, freezer container and stick in your freezer, the basil will stay green and fragrant - and that is such a treat in February!  As I'm not familiar with the frost date in St. Paul, I decided to stash that beautiful basil while it was on my mind. Just remember, it has to be completely dry before clipping.  Simply snip off the very dry leaves and layer in the container, discarding the stems.

Happy September!

Two years ago:  Buttery Cabbage Slices(steaks)