Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Potato and Sausage.

Keeping the last soup I made (and wrecked with a triple glug of soy sauce) in mind, I decided to try my hand at soup making once more today. Leo and I had to get out of the house this morning (schleeeeeeemtown, holy cow) so with no real errands to run, I whipped up a grocery list for one of Deb's magical soups from my favorite cooking post called Smitten Kitchen (click on it to pull up the recipe) and off we went to 4 Freres, trekking through the snow.

Deb of Smitten Kitchen is a wizard. I like her style of cooking, not to mention her quality food photography. Anytime I have a few things on hand in the fridge that need a choppin', it is her website to which I turn. Got a big squash kicking around? Sage risotto! Extra tomatoes lying in wait? Bruchetta! Goodness me, I love to cook. But most of all, I love to make soup. It was my job for a year a few years ago, so I should damn well know how to make a beautiful pot of soup. So I did. My mama would be proud. This one had all the elements today, I think I nailed it! Savory stock, spicy (from the hot Portuguese sausage), smooth (white beans), tangy, slippery (in a good way from the fresh spinach dumped in at the end), diced potatoes three ways (white, red and sweet). I knew it was going to be a good pot by the way of the roux. Damn! Translucent onions and garlic just bathing away in the spicy fat from the browned sausage. Oh baby. This might sound weird, but long ago someone told me a good potato soup should always chirp. And it chirped! Like tiny birds in a nest in the center of my heavy bottomed pot. I don't really know how to explain the ins and outs of a chirping soup, you can just hear it. Perhaps it is the way of the potatoes. Today I let them brown up a bit with the onion and garlic instead of adding them to the stock (as I have in the past). I found the subtle switch in the order of operations gave the flavor of the potatoes a bit more depth. Smoky and salty. Yum.

I don't really know what I am talking about, but I know a good soup when I taste one. Off to deliver soup to the sick (JJ, hang in there), just as my mother taught us to. Now, if only I knew how to make her white buns... Anyhow, it was utterly wonderful to make a huge pot (still simmering away as I write while the baby sleeps on), elbow deep in dishes and prep work while laughing at Leo cruising around babbling like a baboon and entertaining himself. I made sure to put up the baby fence to separate the kitchen from the living/dining room which infuriated him to no end. But knowing that kid, he would have pulled the whole pot off the stove. Little chicken! Always better to be safe than sorry. I have been feeling so matronly of late. Maybe it is Leo and his latest thing--injuring himself mildly, wailing and running with open arms for reassurance and tenderness--but I cannot resist those snuggly little arms that want ME to hold HIM tight. So I do, just pouring every speck of love within me into this little boy. Looking forward to having my own babies someday, but for now this is just right.

Feels great to be back in the soup saddle! Hallelujah!

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