Thursday, January 7, 2016

Soup, zucchini bread and Miss Emily

It being the bleak midwinter, cold, and sort of dull skies, not a lot happening, it's good weather to make soup and bake and read.  Which is what I did this morning.

I foraged in the freezer to round up a lot of farmshare vegetables for a soup, and emerged with corn, shredded cabbage, sliced red bell pepper, cilantro, various broths from previous cooking involving spices, and decided this would make a good soup, thick and wintry. And with a few chunks of roast chicken added in at the end after it's been blended, pretty good.

While I was in there I found, sigh, a (large) stash of grated zucchini, so figured zucchini bread might be a good thing, too.  I still have two giant pumpkins out on the step looking decorative while waiting, and a giant squash in the kitchen looking like a permanent fixture.

Anyway, thanking my planning in doing all the shredding way back in the summer when I first brought these items home from the farm, I made a nice big soup.  Garlic, onions, tomato paste, oregano pesto, curry leaves for the base, then all the other items listed above except the zucchini.  

On the subject of onions, my latest method for chopping without tears is to halve them across the equator when I first bring them home and remove the papery skins (which go into my dye stash).  Then freeze them, and when I need them, chop while frozen.  This is surprisingly doable and tearfree.  Just sayin'.

This has made enough soup for about six meals, including one with Handsome Son, who will be here at the weekend for dinner.

Here's the lineup as it gets under way

and here's the lunch that emerged, with lemonade using lemon slices from the freezer

And the zucchini bread, from the Silver Palate cookbook. 

Note the oven door left ajar after the oven's off, to let the heat into the house and assist with the fuel bill! frugal housewife...I'll shut the door once it's cooled, so that the lit electric bulb inside the stove won't cancel out the savings.

And when I have a slice of z .bread with a pot of tea in a while, I'll continue reading a rattling good novel, Miss Emily by Nuala O'Connor.  New to me, this writer is a really good narrator in the tradition of great Irish writers, and worth noting.  The subject of the novel is Emily Dickinson, and it's written from the viewpoint of a young immigrant Irish maidservant in her house

It occurs to me now that the scenes of Emily and Ada baking happily together, Emily being fond of baking, might have worked on me to bring about the zucchini bread.


  1. Perfect time for bread and soup making. I made raisin bread. Edible but a bit heavy. I,ll try again I think, using yeast to see if will be a bit lighter.

  2. I'm thawing a package of chicken thighs today and I am pretty sure some of that chicken will end up in soup. 'Tis the season, that's for sure.


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