Saturday, November 1, 2014

A month of thankfulness: today I am thankful for soup.

In an effort to meet my goal of publishing 100 posts in the year 2014, I decided that I'd write every day this month, about something I'm thankful for.

I was thankful for so many things today, it was hard to decide.  The sun rose bright in the clear blue sky, it was Saturday (joy of joys!) and my husband was in town.  We spent a good part of the day planting something like 110 bulbs in our yard, in anticipation of a glorious spring. My heart, she is a-dancing in my ribs.

It was bitter cold, planting.  Only 46 degrees, and a driving wind that stiffened our aging fingers and iced our ears, but we stuck to it until the last bulb was buried.  Admittedly, the final twenty or so went in with more speed than plan, but I'm still imagining happy daffodil faces rising to greet me in April or May.

Shawn did most of the work, as in 90% or more.  But I was there!  I was out in the cold!  I needed to warm up as badly as he did when we went inside.

So, when we went in, I made soup!

I was so cold I wore my hat and scarf to cook in, 
and Shawn told me I looked like Duck Dynasty.

Although I am thankful for many, many things. . . today, I am going to write about the soup.  This way, I can try to record the recipe, because it was the Best Soup in the World.  It was delicious, nutritious, gluten-free and very warming to the bones, perfect to make a person feel thankful from head to toe.

 (Just keeping it real with rough phone photos today, 
and that was my second bowl of soup, 
because it was the kind of soup that just seems 
to spoon its delicious self right down your throat 
before you know what happened.)

"Recipe" is a very loose term, where I am concerned.

But, here is is:

Gluten-free Cream of Broccoli, Spinach and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Start with a large pot.  Turn the heat on medium low and throw in some:

*Butter (real butter; start with about 1/4 cup, add more as needed)

While the butter is melting, chop vegetables and throw them in:

(I didn't put in much; for a normal family without onion sensitivities, use a whole one)
*Garlic (one clove)
*Broccoli crowns (2 large)
*Potatoes (2 medium, diced fine, no need to peel -- do not skip; this is your thickener)
*Fresh Spinach (a couple of cups, or more, whatever you have)

When the vegetables are getting tender and fragrant (stir 'em with a spatula), sprinkle with:

*1 tsp. salt
*a dash of nutmeg

Then add:

*4 cups of chicken stock or chicken broth

(Note: at this point I also added part of a can of pumpkin that was left over from pumpkin muffins I'd made for breakfast.  If you have a partial can of pumpkin left over from another cooking project, this is a good place to use it up.  If you aren't in possession of random pumpkin leftovers, I don't think you'd need to open a can especially for this soup, although, it was super good soup.  If you decide to open a can, use about 2/3 cup, but it's not fussy.)

Turn up the heat to medium high.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes,
until the vegetables are very tender.
Blend in blender until smooth, in batches if necessary.
Return to pot over low heat.

*8-12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (shredded, cubed or thinly sliced)

Stir until cheese is melted.

*approximately 1 and 1/3 cups milk or cream or a mixture of the two
(however much and however rich you like it)

Continue to warm over low heat until soup is the temperature you want for eating.
If you don't like your soup too hot, you might like it quite soon. 
Do not boil. 

Taste and see how good it is.  It's so encouraging when you can find delicious things to eat that aren't bad for what ails you, so gratifying, so heart-lightening.

I am thankful for soup.

Shawn, who did like the soup quite a lot, 
is also thankful for my roast chicken thighs, 
which we ate on the side with the soup.


Hope T. said...

The picture of you in your hat and scarf is so cute! I'm thankful for soup today, too. My husband made chicken noodle soup (with gluten-free noodles) which was heavenly on a day which was so windy and chilly and healing for those of us who are not feeling well. Your soup looks very good, too. I really need to get a machine that will blend well -- my 25 year old blender is not happy with me. I'm considering a Nutribullet. What kind do you have?

ruth said...

Hi there! We recently purchased a Ninja at Big Lots, because it was a super deal, with an additional 20% off. This blender is actually big enough to blend the whole recipe! I use a smaller blender for every day.