I do not like to cook.
Now, I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that our teeny kitchen has just two functioning stove burners and one single (semi-working) drawer, or if it is because, at this point of my life I am enveloped by things I have produced that either unfold, get dirty, get taken out and put on the floor, are un-made or get thrown away within minutes of me feeling the satisfaction of completing the task. Maybe I am simply searching for something with more of an appreciated value (Uuk! How many of THOSE do I have to eat…..). Or, perhaps I am just not woman enough to appreciate the sheer beauty of stuffing grapevine leaves with peeled and cored eggplant and squash while a little person is tugging at me hungry hungry hungry.
In any case, for me every meal is a trial.
There have been a few times when I actually have enjoyed my time in the kitchen. Most have involved a glass or two of wine.
But soup. Soup is another matter altogether. Any sort of soup—mixed bean, lentil, wild mushroom with barley, curried pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and yam bisque, tomato, hearty spring vegetable—I could happily drown in a sea of soup, let it toss me about for a while and then spit me out. Happy.
My friend Jenny (who, unlike me, loves to cook and is really good at it) makes a mean Butternut Squash Soup with Apples—easy and perfect for a cold wintry night. My old standby is Vegetable. Nothing fancy—just a beautifully basic soup that can accommodate whatever combination of freshly picked or frozen veggies I have on hand. It tastes different every time.
Simple Vegetable Soup:
3 Tbs olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Handful of carrots (chopped)
3-4 celery stalks (chopped)
4 ears cooked corn (kernels removed)
4 medium sized potatoes (cut into chunks)
Can of kidney beans
Can of chick peas
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add celery and carrots and cook on low until they start to soften (about 10 mins). Stir in the broth, corn, potatoes, beans, chick peas and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the veggies are almost tender (20 mins). Stir in the parsley.
Other great additions include: cabbage, parsnips, turnips, zucchini, lima beans and bell peppers.