It is very, very cold outside. When I forced myself out of bed this morning, the outside temperature was -5ºF, and it was not until that it pushed its way up past 0. Good grief.
I am sitting here in the living room of my not-too-warm old farmhouse. The gas stove is running, with very comforting flames dancing about. To further this illusion of an old-fashioned wood fire, I have lit a stick of pine incense which has filled the first floor with the scent of burning logs. If I cannot have a real wood-burning fireplace, I can at least pretend!
In a while, I will go to the kitchen and turn on the oven on order to roast a chicken and bake bread. The kitchen was an addition built onto the original house in the 1960’s, and for some reason heat wasn’t added. It’s a darn cold room in the winter, but even more so during these nasty, frigid days. I’ve been baking a lot of bread in the past few days, and making oven-cooked dinners, just to warm up the place a little.
For lunch today, I made soup. This was the kind of soup which one prepares for warmth and comfort.
I sautéed thick slices of turkey bacon, then onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. After the vegetables were softened I added vegetable stock, dried thyme, and lots of black pepper. This simmered for a bit, then I thickened it with flour, then added chopped collards and some smoked paprika. I finished it with a couple of drops of hot pepper sauce and, voila!, a very simple soup, served with bread, which produced a lunch that was both nutritious and warming.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Smoky Winter Vegetable Soup
Recipe By: Vicci
Servings : 4
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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3 ounces turkey bacon -- thick-sliced preferred
2 teaspoons olive oil -- divided
4 ounces finely chopped onion -- about 1 cup
11 ounces white potatoes -- peeled or not; cut into 1/2" cubes; about 2 1/4 cups
3 ounces carrot -- diced 1/4"
2 large garlic cloves -- minced
6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme -- crushed
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups collard greens -- tough stems removed, chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
hot sauce to taste
Parmesan cheese -- grated to garnish, optional
In a nonstick Dutch oven, fry the turkey bacon in a teaspoon of olive oil until browned. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot and add the potatoes and carrot. Cook stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, chop the bacon into small pieces.
Add the bacon, vegetable stock, and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Turn the heat back up to a boil. In a small bowl, mix the flour with 1/4 cup of cold water and whisk until no lumps remain. Pour into the boiling soup slowly, stirring constantly until the broth thickens a bit. Turn the heat down a little and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring.
Add the collards, turn the heat to low, and stir in the smoked paprika. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the collards soften (can use spinach as a sub for the collard greens). Add freshly-ground pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.
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Per serving: 202 Calories (kcal); 8g Total Fat (2g saturated); (34% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 19mg Cholesterol; 379mg Sodium; 3g Fiber
Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates
Um.... this photo.....
Okay, this is not only a bland photo, but I cannot get it to upload horizontally!
Sorry. You get the idea... (and, need I say, the soup tastes better than it looks!!!)