Soup season is upon us
With late summer and early fall harvest in full swing, it’s time to put all of this plentiful local produce to good use in fresh dishes.
Or, as I did about this time last year in the midst of pandemic uncertainty and feeling more creative in the kitchen than usual, go into a frenzy of soup making and fill the freezer.
Soups don’t have to be fancy, and my technique can be summed up in a few steps:
• Google a combo of ingredients made up of items from the fridge crispers
• Find a recipe online or in a cookbook you were once given as a joke, or maybe just wing it
• Choose an appropriate drink pairing
I made a few soups last year and I’m getting ready to break out the reusable containers and do it again. Here are a few I’m proud of, but don’t ask me for too many specifics. I’m a “throw it in the pot and see what happens” kind of gal.
Minestrone: There are so many ways to make this, and so many alternatives. When I’ve got zucchini, green or yellow beans, carrots, even fresh peas, I put it all together with canned tomatoes, veggie stock, chopped local kale, orzo pasta, sometimes white beans, and always a bay leaf or two. Really, it’s a vegetable soup. Beverage pairing: a light Pinot Noir or a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend.
Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup: This comes from a well-used cookbook. Heat up olive oil, fry chopped onions, garlic, and diced local potatoes till glistening, add chopped cauliflower and a little bit of water. The key is cooking this mixture with your favourite blend of Indian spices. Turmeric is tasty and colourful. Add chicken or veggie stock, simmer for a short while, then blend it all together and top with yogurt. Pair with a dry Riesling or a blonde ale.
Lemon-Arugula Soup: I had a lot of lemons and a big bag of arugula. If you don’t like either, skip this. Martha Stewart has a recipe that includes polenta, but all you need is chicken stock and lemons. The arugula gave it a peppery kick. I use this for a unique chicken soup base, adding shredded chicken and rice noodles, so it kind of turned into an Avgolemono. Beverage choice: Sauvignon Blanc, or why not a lemony gin and tonic for fun? Find a local gin and give it a try.
Borscht: I have yet to make this myself, but after years of research, I now know that my mom’s “Grand Forks” style borscht pairs with only one wine – a nice, dry, Okanagan Rosé.
Soup’s on. Pass the sourdough bread
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