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snowangel

eG Foodblog: lovebenton0, Pam R, snowangel - North of the 30th paralle

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There is nothing as comforting on a cold winter night as a big bowl of soup; walking into a home with the aromas wafting through the air and heat radiating from the stove top is most inviting. This is heart and body warming stuff. It helps thaw out your toes and restore your spirit.

Now, of course, there are some places in this world where a pot of simmering soup in early February is more welcome than others. Were we sitting on a beach on the coast of a Caribbean Island, we might prefer a frozen beverage more than a bowl of chicken noodle soup. But from the shores of Lake Michigan to the upper reaches of the Mighty Miss to the wind-swept Canadian Prairie - where the snow reaches your waist or higher - there's nothing better.

We bloggers are proud Northerners. We are diverse and yet the same. We are cold, but know how to overcome that. Pull out your soup pots and get your bones simmering. Share a week of warm and hearty meals! We're cooking soup this week - and looking forward to cooking with you.

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Ondine   

Oh my, I do believe I'm going to really enjoy this blogweek!

It's been very hot here in the Southern Hemisphere; the last few days have been hovering around 40 Celsius (that's about 105 Fahrenheit).

I think I'll just look at the cold weather pictures and sigh wistfully. :biggrin:

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Marya   

After living in Alaska for 18 years, I understand the need for comforting soups that make bitterly cold days almost tolerable. I'm looking forward to this blog and admire your fortitude.

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What perfect timing.

I have been soup impaired for quite some time. With the help of a fellow eG'er, who has been so kindly giving me soups all bundled up for the freezer so I will have a nice lunch at work, I spent last week putting together a variety of great tasting soups. I now have quite a multitude of ziplocked soups greeting me (and trying to fall out and break my toes) everytime I open the freezer door. I even arrived at my soup mentors door with a container of butternut squash soup for her to try.

Next up - lentil soup with a kielbassa like sausage that my butcher friend Ziggy smoked last week.

So, bring it on. Loooking forward to a great week of soups that I can mine for great ideas and recipes. Thanks so much!

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Wow,small world snowangel.

I awoke this am to Five degrees about zero, having shoveled out both myself and my mom, and as a reward, she gave me some homemade splitpea soup to enjoy today. I just have to bastardize it with some bacon as she's a vegetarian..

Really looking forward to a very timely blog! :biggrin:

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Chufi   

Well, I have to confess it's not really that cold here in Amsterdam, but by some weird coincedence, I do have my annual batch of Dutch split pea soup simmering on the stove right now!

I hope to get some more great soup ideas from this blog!

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Good morning! It is a relatively warm January morning here in Minnesota -- 14 degrees (F), and not windy. We had a dusting of snow last night and it is very pretty.

My weekday mornings start early, long before sunrise (especially during the dark days of winter) to get the kids up and off to school. In order to prepare for the next morning, the last thing I do before going to bed is get things ready for coffee -- rinse or wash the coffee pot and gold filter, fill the maker with water, and fill the grinder with beans so that all I have to do is grind the coffee in the morning and push "play" on the coffee maker.

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I love this coffee maker. Sure, I know that a french press does a better job, but this is easy, and I need my first cuppa (strong and black) as soon as I'm out of the shower.

While I favor Peet's, I only have it around when my sister (who lives in Berkeley) as been for a visit. So, in the meantime, my dad and I go together on 5-pound bags of "Bird Mountain." I'll look for a web site for the place where we get this coffee.

I made my list yesterday morning. I live by lists. Since Heidi can't tell me about her days at school, the staff puts one of these in her backpack every day:

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As a maniacal recycler, I prefer to re-use and then recycle, so the back side of these are perfect for my daily lists:

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I've already crossed a few things off because a stop at a strange grocery store yesterday produced some of the items. I won't get through all of the items on the list (I never do), so they go on the next day's list, or I'll just squeeze more stuff on for tomorrow. The drywalling has been on the list for quite some time now.

Off to get stock going and work on my bread dough!

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I'll have breakfast in a little bit, but first, a question. I was thinking of making Mafe for dinner tonight, but I don't like peanuts or peanut butter. Any comments on how peanutty it is?

Pam, Judith and I have left things pretty open for this week, but each of us one night will do something from RecipeGullet and one night will be a family favorite.

I'm aiming this week to expand my horizons and not make things I've made before, except for the family favorite night, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

And, if you've got a sure-fire winner soup recipe (that conforms to the copyright guidelines), get it into RecipeGullet!

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MikeM   

I can't wait to read this blog!

As a Minnesotan - Soup seems very appropriate this week. I believe the high on Friday is going to be 5 degrees. :blink:

Please warm me up!!!

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Soup is my favorite food. I'm very happy to see three entertaining eGulleters collaborate on my favorite food, for an entire week! :wub::wub::wub:

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Pam R   

Good morning from Winterpeg!

It's a balmy -18 C (-0.3 F) with an expected high of -16 C. I woke up to everything blanketed in fresh snow, and a bright, sunny day.

Let's get breakfast out of the way. At work, we sell baked goods that we bring in from Montreal - so I try to keep a bag or two of their spelt bagels in the freezer at home:

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Toasted with butter and half of a 'deep red' grapefruit (which looked more like a dark pink):

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To drink - iced green tea. I rarely drink coffee - but have several glasses or mugs of iced or hot tea every day.

When I opened the front door at work this morning, I thought people who aren't in a snowy climate might like to see our sidewalk. :smile:

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It's hard to tell, but the path is shovelled through a 3 foot snowbank. Our customers park on the street in front of the store.

I have to run out to the grocery store (we're sending out food for a funeral in a couple of hours and need a couple of things) - when I get back I'll show you some of the soup prep I started early.

PS: It was great fun to see the guesses on the teaser photos. Some of you guessed me - but nobody guessed that there was more than one of us!

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Oh, I love soups..this will be fun. And to think I was complaining when it was 27 degrees here...I guess I'll keep my mouth shut from here on. Looking forward to the week.

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My, my, my! REAL SNOW!!!!! I've forgotten what it looks like ever since winters in Philadelphia became semi-tropical.

Okay, I exaggerate a bit. The temperature when I woke up this morning was 29F (-2C) and the forecast calls for a high in the mid-30s. There was even a dusting of snow on the ground thanks to snow showers that passed through the area last night.

But if you can see the blades of green grass poking up through the snow cover on Swarthmore's athletic fields, as I did this morning on the way to work, then I don't think what we're having here deserves the name winter. A freak cold snap is more like it.

I plan on taking copious notes from this blog. I love soup, but haven't made too much homemade. I really need to learn this skill if I'm going to continue to serve soup in the future, for both my partner and my roommate must control their blood pressure, which makes commercial canned soups verboten.

Speaking of copious notes: I recall someone on my last foodblog confessing that she loved to see photos of hands at work. I feel the same way about handwriting, which conveys a lot about the writer's personality--and often one's occupation: doctors almost uniformly write in an illegible chicken scratch, and architects have a fondness for open block capitals, for instance. Therefore, I'd like to thank snowangel for opening this blog with an example of her own and hope that the other two bloggers will follow suit.

As for the obligatory fridge shots, I believe the photo of the three-foot-high snowbanks Pam R posted immediately above fulfills her obligation :laugh: , but if she cares to actually show us her refrigerator, she is encouraged to go ahead and do so.

Blog on! I'm looking forward to this week.

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good morning to all and a chilly morning it is here. not too bad, 18f with windchill running about 5f. more snow the last few days so we are more than ready for soup this week. :biggrin:

first let me apologize for the lower case, both hands/wrists are in very stiff braces right now, making the shift key a literal pain to deal with, so please bear with me.

to start off in a very normal way, quinn, my assistant, slipped off to the living room early this morning and has slept in, allowing me to do the same. yes, we are known to do so on cold mornings.

quinn, catching a morning nap before coffee and our walk

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so i started some coffee. i also love my little french press, but when i need it now and hot this is the way i go.

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the mega cup seemed appropriate for the day.

here's quinn about ready to go... balance harness, service dog vest, just needs his boots. and saying he needs to go now... :wink:

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so we'll come back for a late breakfast and soup plans for the day in a bit.

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Pam R   
It's a balmy -18 C (-0.3 F)

I retract this statement.

It turns out that going from my warm house to my car that was parked in the garage, and then the 5 steps from the car to the store, I got a false sense of warmth.

Pushing a shopping cart through 2 inches of new snow, with the wind howling, brought me quickly to my senses. Damn, it is frigid out there.

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I've had breakfast now:

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As I rapidly approach 50, and look at my aging parents (and the aging parents of the friends of mine), I realize I need to make some changes. One is to incorporate more fibre in my diet, and to drastically increased the vegetables in our diets. Exercise plays a part in this, too (more on that later). But, I'm looking at my mom, who at age 73 is more fit (positively buff) and looks better now than she did at 50. She's agile and nimble and full of energy.

Hence, the toast and my choice of bread. But, this stuff is sort of nasty. So, after my first bite, I added a bit o honey. My mom says it is better with mustard and some sort of greens and meat or cheese. I'll have to try that.

Since the larder is nude of fruit, and a few other things I need, I'm off to the market. Stock will start soon, and my bread dough is rising (slowly, given that I don't keep the house very warm during the day. Photos to follow.

Oh, and any suggestions for incorporating more whole grain into the diet will be appreciated.

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Pam R   

Judith - Quinn is gorgeous.

Sandy - I'll have a handwriting photo up shortly - and maybe even some fridge shots in different stages.

I have a question. We planned on doing a recipe out of RecipeGullet. I'm all for that - but is there any chance it can be a recipe I put into RecipeGullet? :biggrin: We've only just begun - yet I can tell you that there are too many soups, not enough blogging days!

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Like Kerry, I consider myself “soup impaired.” The family loves soup, so I am excited to see what the talented trio of bloggers produces this week.

I'm aiming this week to expand my horizons and not make things I've made before, except for the family favorite night, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

You have probably made coconut chicken soup (tom kha gai), which would stoke the internal fires nicely. Andrea Nguyen has a delicious Napa cabbage and shrimp soup (click). Adding rice makes the soup more suitable for a northern climate (maybe on one of your warmer days :biggrin: ).

Susan: Drywalling (and even thinking about drywalling) is completely incompatible with a clean house, so you are off the hook. :laugh:

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Pam R   
Well, I have to confess it's not really that cold here in Amsterdam, but by some weird coincedence, I do have my annual batch of Dutch split pea soup simmering on the stove right now!

Your soup looks great - I think I may do a split pea soup - my father has been requesting it for about 3 weeks. Mine will have to be sans pork - but my usual split pea soup is vegetarian, and he wants me to try throwing in some smoked turkey drumsticks. Your hint about adding the smoked meat towards the end is something I never thought of - but if I like it really smokey, can I throw them in at the beginning? I chop my vegetables up very small too - I love how everything melts together.

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Ladies: Like Rebecca, and as I have said elsewhere, soup is my favorite food.

Our Southern California what-passes-for-winter ain't a patch on you Northerners', but we did hit the 20s a couple of recent nights, the first time in 30 years, or so I was told by an old timer. Soup boosterism carries on throughout the year, regardless of weather.

That said, during yesterday's cookage I did just happen to put the finishing touches on French onion soup for later consumption. AND, also on the slate this week, soupy black-eyed peas with a rice timbale island.

Susan, why not make your own WW bread, which you could even dose with additional high-fiber ingredients? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Blog on!

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I've used smoked turkey MANY times in white bean and split pea soups. It's delicious! I've also had a white bean soup made with smoked fish. It was very good, but I never did find out exactly WHAT smoked fish was in the soup! :rolleyes:

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Rehovot   

Mmm, soup. I could eat soup all year long, which is why I really enjoyed this thread.

I'd planned on making butternut squash soup for dinner, but this was vetoed by my other half, who claimed that soup three nights in a row is excessive.

Yeah, excessively good! :cool:

Looking forward to your week.

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MelissaH   
Your soup looks great - I think I may do a split pea soup - my father has been requesting it for about 3 weeks.  Mine will have to be sans pork - but my usual split pea soup is vegetarian, and he wants me to try throwing in some smoked turkey drumsticks.  Your hint about adding the smoked meat towards the end is something I never thought of - but if I like it really smokey, can I throw them in at the beginning?  I chop my vegetables up very small too - I love how everything melts together.

Another way to get a smokey hit into soup, or anything else, for that matter, is to season with Spanish smoked paprika. Of course, the paprika will turn whatever you're making into a brick (color-wise, anyway). Depending on what you're making, this can sometimes be a good thing.

MelissaH

(About to start prepping soup for dinner tonight also; I think I'm going to try a recipe from Jacques Pepin for a potato, savoy cabbage, and sausage soup. The sausage I have on hand is turkey kielbasa, and I think I'm going to try adding some caraway seeds to the soup. Accompanying: a salad of romaine, apple, and maybe some cheese. If the soup turns out well, I'll add it to RecipeGullet.)

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Pam R   

Every other week I write a kosher cooking column for a local paper. I try to come up with interesting ideas, things that aren't found in all of the synagogue cookbooks, to share with my readers. But every once in a while, I'll do an old standard - or, as is the case this week, I'll listen to what my customers are asking me, and write about that.

The #1 question I get in the store is 'what do I need to make a good chicken soup?'. I don't know why, but the question always surprises me. Didn't their mothers or grandmothers teach them how to make chicken soup?

My first question to them is "do you use the meat?". My theory is that if you don't use the meat from the whole chicken, don't bother using it. I've made it both ways before - with and without the whole chicken - but never in a side by side tasting.

So this week, the column will contain two versions - the first using bones, the second a whole, mature chicken (soup fowl). With a bonus recipe for meat kreplach. (Click here for my eGCI Kreplach Demo and here for my EGCI Chicken Soup Demo.)

The different pots: On the left we have a mixture of chicken bones, necks and wings - the right is a 4 lb. mature chicken, cut in 4:

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Cover in cold water (I used 20 cups in each pot), bring up to a very gentle simmer, skimming off all foam and . . . stuff, as it appears. Simmer for about 45 minutes, loosely covered.

Then add the vegetables. Carrots, celery, parsnip and onion. Same amount of each went in to each pot.

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Simmer another hour and a half or so - with the lid slightly askew, so that some of the liquid can evaporate. Add some salt - taste. Keep cooking it until it tastes like chicken. Then strain out the solids.

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Look at that colour! No onion skins in my soup.

I took most of the soup off, and chilled it. Then removed all the schmaltz. But I kept about 1/3 of each batch in the pots, and added some fresh chopped Dill - and simmered briefly.

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Then chilled everything. Half of it packaged for the freezer:

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Most of the soup (from each batch) was frozen for use throughout the week. A couple of quarts were eaten over the weekend. And the meat from the whole chicken was turned into kreplach filling (I'll post the pictures from that next).

Any guesses on the amount of similar tasting stock I got out of each batch - or rather, think I got the same amount or different quantities?

eta: I'm totally guilty of using my stovetop as extra counter space - even when my huge kitchen counter is empty. Anybody else?


Edited by Pam R (log)

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Susan- How about some beer cheese soup? My ex is from Shakopee and I was told that beer cheese soup is a specialty of MN( topped with a certain brand of popped popcorn).

Pam- The last batch of chicken soup I made came out so much better than previous batches. I think the trick was using a Kosher chicken. The flavor and color were much deeper.

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