I think the art of good simple cooking is not locked away for the elite who can afford the outrageous prices of Whole Foods, nor is it reserved for the quaint country village of Provencal France. Nope, good quality and wholesome meals are the direct result of choosing to spend a little time and keep your vegetable bin moving. These two easy recipes do just that, and are delicious.
This classic recipe for veggie soup can use any vegetable you have in your crisper drawer, especially if they are starting to lack luster. I used asparagus, broccoli, onion, and potato, because that is what I had.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic4 cups of chicken stock (vegetable, beef, what ever suits your fancy)
1 potato (peeled and cubed)
1 teaspoon of thyme dried or four springs of fresh
1 bay leaf
1 lb of whatever green or not so green veggie you have in your home or crisper.
In your favorite soup pot heat up the olive oil and slice the onions. Add the onions and cook until translucent at medium high heat. Once translucent at the garlic and cook for just less than a minute. Burning garlic leaves a terrible bitter taste, if you do, better to scrap it and start over. Add the stock, potato pieces, and the herbs. The stock and herbs are for flavor, so please feel free to invent, amend, edit, add, experiment. The potato is to thicken and provide that serotonin induced carb euphoric mental state. Allow the soup to cook covered until the potato is soft and easily pierced with a fork. Once your soup is ready through in your washed, chopped, vegetables of your choice. Allow them to cook for just a few minutes, no more than 3 minutes, then turn the heat off completely. You want to blanch them so they turn bright green and lock in all of their flavor and nutrients. Any longer and you start to denature the proteins that are so good for you. Now, my favorite part, with your handy dandy wonder wand, hand held blender, cream your soup. You can eat it with out blending, you can also use a standing blender just remember to cover with a kitchen towel and not the lid. This allows the heat to escape their by preventing you from a to scale re-enactment of an a-bomb explosion.
As a yummy accompaniment I made Pissaladiere - French Onion Tart.
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
caramelized onions (2 onions, chopped, sauteed with olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a sprinkling of cumin)
Throw together all of the dough ingredients, until it makes a sticky doughy mess. Allow it to rest in the bowl you mixed it in for 20 minutes or so. What to do? I don't know, maybe work on the soup while you wait, or mop? I always need to mop. I am affectionately refered to as the cuisine-art with no lid.
Crank your oven to 425 F
Spread out the dough on a floured board or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. You can use a rolling pin, or your fingers, just roll it to the shape that make you happy. Using a fork or your fingers make little pockets in the bread to catch the onions and olive oil from the pan. How thick or thin you like it is really up to you. Drip over allow the sweet onions to lay on the bed dough you just rolled out. Sprinkle Parmesan or any cheese you have handy.
Bake for 10 minutes or less depending on how thick you laid the dough or how crunchy you want the bread. But check on it at the half way mark, you might not want crackers and you certainly don't want burnt.
Allow to cool and enjoy, with or without healthy veggie soup.
As always, many blessings, much love, happy baking, and happy fall