Minnestrone

This is one of the world’s great soups. Basically it’s a soup made of whatever vegetables are on hand, with some starch like rice or pasta added in. This is not the kind of dish that sends you to the grocery store to carefully collect your ingredients. Instead it is meant to absorb any leftovers as well as rotate pantry (stored food) items into your diet. For example, here’s how I made it today. Stock: Add to pot: garlic or garlic tops, carrot tops, onion skins, and any celery tops or lovage you have on hand. Cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer for up to an hour. Strain spent vegetables out of the pot and place in compost or yard waste bin. Fresh vegetables: Clean out the vegetable drawer – I used new onions and Wyckels Farm turnips. I ran across a web recipe that called for frozen … Continue reading

New Year Bean Soup

The Mt. Walker Farms ham bone from Christmas dinner was still in the refrigerator. I figured I’d better use it up. Last night I cut off the pieces that would come off and used them in a stir-fry. I also soaked some white beans (Great Northerns picked up from Hunter Farms last year). This morning I made a soup with the beans and the ham bone. After a couple of hours of simmering I went to put it up, and tasted it to see if it needed salt. Nope, no salt needed, and it was so good I immediately sat down and ate a bowl. I called Alex and Ted and they sat down and ate a bowl on the spot. I froze another couple of pints for lunches. I learned this as a southern thing but I know many cultures have beans at New Year for good luck. New … Continue reading

Pork stew

This is the winter of Tom Clark’s pig. Well, half a pig, that I bought from Tom last summer and picked up from the butcher on Thanksgiving weekend. I was disappointed when I discovered the butcher had discarded parts of the pig that he thought I wouldn’t want, as I wanted to learn to use the whole pig. I discovered this week that the parts I do have provide me with plenty of learning experiences. The pig came to me butchered, but this is one step back in the process from picking up meat at the grocery store. It comes wrapped in plastic and then paper labeled with a simple description like “pork roast”. Last weekend I had a group potluck and thought I would pull out the roast as a special treat. Alex roasted the “pork roast” on Saturday to 145′ as per my favorite cookbooks. When it reached … Continue reading

Warm winter lentil soup

I made the most wonderful lentil soup today. It’s not a fair recipe because it depends on an unusual spice. Visiting Ted’s parents in Sequim over the Thanksgiving holiday I dropped into Sunny Farms for last-minute items. While there I stopped by their in-house-packaged spice rack and picked up something called berbere spice. When I was making the soup I was digging through my spice bin for a curry and came upon the berbere spice. I said, oh what the heck, let’s try this, and used the berbere. It kicks! Not much, but enough to make a nice warming winter soup. Berbere Lentil Soup 4 cups stock Last night I boiled some bones left over from a Clallam County free range roast, along with a carrot and a tiny head of celery from Pheasant Fields Farm, and two cloves of garlic. 1 cup lentils From the pantry, I don’t know … Continue reading