Alternative title #1: Preparedness
Alternative title #2: Another non-entrant into the soup contest
This is the menu Mr. Big Food prepared on Sunday, November 27th:
|Week of Nov. 27-Dec.3|
It wasn’t until the week had begun that Mr. Big Food decided to carry me away. Thus, some adjustments were in order, as indicated by the arrows.
As I’ve asserted, one reason Mr. Big Food is so productive is that he’s organized. Another is that he’s prepared. The whole notion of traveling and arriving back home on Monday could have made Monday supper a real dilemma, given that Mr. Big Food had to work late Monday afternoon– he wouldn’t be home in time to fix supper. Fortunately, we took stock of the freezer not to0 long ago and he updated his records. It was easy as pie for me to take the frozen Across the Garden Soup from last July, and some Turkey Gumbo from Black Friday, out to thaw and slowly heat up on the stove top.
Across the Garden Soup is something I make. As its name implies, the soup changes subtly with the seasons, so go ahead and stroll across the garden to create the soup you like. This is a great soup to have simmering in the background as you go about your business doing other things. Provided it’s simmering very slowly, if you forget about it and the potatoes and carrots are fully cooked before you add the cabbage, it’s no big deal. In my humble opinion, it tastes better after it’s been refrigerated for a day.
Recipe below the fold
Left-over baked bone-in ham or ham hock; if you don’t want to make the soup within a few days of having served the ham, freeze the meaty ham bone.
Carrots cut into 2″ chunks
Potatoes cut into bite-sized chunks or noodles; new potatoes are awesome, but “old” potatoes work well, too.
Cabbage quartered or whole green/wax beans or both (do not use red cabbage)
Onion about 2-4 coarsely chopped
Celery about 2-4 stalks cut into 2″ chunks
Bay leaves 2-4
Parsley or not
Salt to taste
Whipping cream or half-and-half
(Quantities of all ingredients vary with the size of the ham bone and your tastes. When you get all of the veggies into the stock, the pot should be packed full of veggies.)
- Cover the meaty ham bone with water
- Add 1-2 tsps peppercorns, 2-4 bay leaves, and half the chopped onion
- Cover and simmer slowly until the meat begins to fall off the bone; Add more water if needed to keep the bone covered
- Remove bone and any meats that’s fallen into the stock; Also remove as much of the onion as you can
- Bring stock to a slow simmer and add carrots and remaining onions
- When the carrots are about half cooked (still firm), add potatoes. If substituting noodles for potatoes, do not add noodles now
- When potatoes are about half cooked, add celery and cabbage
- Remove ham from bone, add to stock (see comment below)
- Simmer slowly for a long time
- Add parsley and salt just before serving
- If substituting noodles, add them at the last allowing just enough time to cook
- Add cream to taste in individual bowls (don’t add cream to the pot)
As you can tell from this very detailed recipe, the final product can suit your taste with respect to consistency, too. For example, adding the ham back to the soup later in the simmering process will result in a soup with discrete chunks of ham.