Monday, February 16, 2009

The Healing Arts

I don't know of a better way to speed recovery from a nasty cold than to get into the kitchen and start cooking. It's therapy, I tell ya.

Hah! I knew I had some turkey carcasses lurking in the deep recesses of the freezer. Celery, along with the leaves, carrot, onion, garlic, black peppercorns, salt, fresh thyme sprigs (yes, I actually do have some growing outside now), fresh rosemary, sage and bay leaves do their part to add flavor to the pot. You might notice that I left the skins on the onion.

This simmered for eight hours before being strained and allowed to cool. I have plans for this stock. Cue the evil laugh...

Come Monday morning I felt well enough to go to my regular grocery store for things that I will then be able to find in my very own refrigerator and pantry.

Then, when I got home, I set to work making the first of two soups. Here are the ingredients for the first soup: low-sodium chicken stock, black pepper, kosher salt, cooked chicken, onion, garlic, dried Herbes de Provence, green beans, carrot, celery, frozen corn and noodles.

The onion, celery and carrot were cut and sauteed in a bit of olive oil.

The remaining veggies were added along with grated garlic and the Herbes de Provence.

The chicken stock was added to the pot. Deciding that more liquid would be needed for the noodles, I added a couple of cups of water.

Noodles were dropped into the boiling liquid and the heat was reduced. At this point the cooked chicken was also put into the pot. This soup simmered for 20 minutes to allow the noodles to fully cook.

The daughter came in and tested the soup for seasoning since I couldn't. She added salt until she was happy with the flavor.

The dear daughter was quite appreciative of the effort her mother put forth for her.

But, I'm not finished yet...

I decided to try a recipe from Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Chunky Tomato Bacon Soup was an entry in the Comfort Foods challenge from this season.
Of course, I had to substitute turkey stock for the chicken stock, but the other ingredients remain the same.
From the left rear we have homemade turkey stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, olive oil, heavy cream, salt, fresh thyme, shallot, garlic, bacon and sugar.

I did deviate slightly from the recipe by first frying up the bacon, removing the bacon and reserving a tablespoon of the bacon fat for sauteing the shallot.
The basil, thyme, tomato paste and grated garlic were then added to the pan. The bacon was also added back at this point.

Then the turkey stock, crushed tomatoes and heavy cream were poured into the pot. Salt and sugar were added to taste.

I allowed this to simmer over low heat for several minutes.

And can I just tell you? This was so easy to do. Seriously, cooking the bacon was the most difficult part of the whole process.

Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and thinly sliced green onions top my soup.
Thick and rich and delicious really does describe this dish. My husband even helped himself to a second serving of this simple soup.
I will be making this soup again, although I might save the bacon bits for topping the soup the next time.
A nice loaf of Pane Bello from a local bakehouse rounded out the meal.

But wait... I still not finished...

I also whipped up a batch of strawberry sorbet this afternoon, using frozen strawberries, orange juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup.

Can you think of a better way to beat the common cold?

Now, where do I go to apply for my patent?

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