Yesterday, on Sunday, the third day in April, we got another snowstorm here on Beaver Island. It started coming down while I was at work. By the time I left for home, I had to scrape a couple inches of snow from my windshield. It continued through the day and into the evening.
I had a drawer full of miscellaneous vegetables in my refrigerator that needed to be used before they went bad. Sometimes I buy too much, when the shipment comes in to the store and everything looks so fresh. Other times the problem is simply the package size in my household of one. My week away put all excess vegetables on the “use right away” list.
I’m still struggling with a head cold I picked up when I was off the island last week. It seems that we isolated islanders are especially vulnerable to any stray germs, the minute we get away from here.
All considered, it was a perfect day for soup!
I started by sauteing one diced red pepper, the white part of two leeks and three cloves of garlic. I soaked the last of the beautiful mixed soup beans – hand-picked from my cousin Bob’s garden last fall – and put them in a pot to simmer. When they had softened, I drained them and put them back on the stove in three quarts of fresh water.
I pulled everything from the crisper drawer and went to work. A bag of cauliflower stems and leaves, a package of brussel sprouts, four carrots, a half bag of kale and the usable green parts of the leeks were all sorted, cleaned and chopped before going into the soup pot. It was about six cups of raw vegetables. I added the sauteed vegetables, a jar of diced tomatoes, about a cup of grated zucchini and a pint of green beans from my freezer, and a half cup of barley.
It simmered all afternoon.
At suppertime, I dished it up, and added freshly-ground pepper, a dollop of sour cream and a splash of balsamic vinegar to the bowl. Delicious!
I filled three containers with soup to take to work for lunches this week and put the rest in my big covered glass bowl in the refrigerator, to warm up one bowlful at a time for lunch or dinner.
Good soup for a snowy day!