Cory Matthews, Cream of Celery Soup, and (Pain Au) Chocolat

It happened this week fan(s). I saw some leaves changing color and that can only mean one thing.

It's SOUP SEASON!

I love soup season so much that I am just now finding frozen soup in my icebox from last soup season and the reunions have been sweet. And some meals have even been a gamble because I clearly didn't have a Sharpie to mark what the frozen soup flavor was. Who doesn't love a surprise outside of dropping the soap in the locker room? 

Back to making soup. This weekend was just chock full of activities. I had a work social engagement on Friday. Thankfully my new work friend insisted we slip away so I could venture even deeper into Southern Jewishness and try oysters and mussels for the first time. As with most things I need to give them three tries before saying, "yup, still gay". I mean, "I like oysters".

I followed that crazy Friday up with a date on Saturday. Yes I said date. I'm still in shock myself. Not to sound selfish but I like to make sure to plan my dates around places that I need to get something out of...say a fresh pain au chocolat. Thankfully there is a perfect petite patisserie, Atelier on Trade, within walking distance. So perfect I had to tell myself I couldn't just wander into the back and test my croissant skills. After my date I came home, noshed on my pain au chocolat and maybe watched 20 episodes of Girl Meets World. Don't judge. I learned 20 life lessons and oddly a lot of history lessons. Thank you Mr. Matthews.

Feeling somewhat guilty and worrisome regarding bed sores, I removed myself from the settee and decided to make some Cream of Celery Soup. Did anyone else call it Cream of Celery Poop Soup growing up? Or was that just some twisted Northern Minnesota thing my cousins and I did?

Anyway, thanks to my dear friend Ms. Stewart I was able to whip up my first soup of the 2015 Fall season! And this time (and just this time) I made just enough to eat for this week and not need to freeze for next years possible zombie apocalypse. 

Ms. Stewart's Creamy Celery Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 1/2 pounds (12 to 15 large stalks) celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise (about 6 cups), leaves reserved for garnish

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 baking potato, (8 to 10 ounces),peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, onion, and potato; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Add 6 cups water to saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Working in batches, puree soup until smooth. (To prevent splattering, fill blender only halfway, and allow the heat to escape: Remove cap from hole in lid; cover lid with a dish towel, holding down firmly while blending.) Return soup to pan; stir in lemon juice, and season with salt. Serve, garnished with celery leaves.

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The Dead Dad's Club

Dumplings and Bean with Bacon Soup

Dumplings and Bean with Bacon Soup

A NOTE:
Below is a post from awhile back. I find myself reading it once a year on Father's Day. So I am going to share it once again. And you will probably see it next year around this time as well. It's a damn good recipe.

Today’s post is going to be short. It is a holiday for many and I assume there are meats being bought, hot dishes being prepared, and Jell-O salads firming in the ice box.

This is the time of year I steer clear of the card aisles, ignore the barrage of promotional emails that filter in daily and make a concentrated effort to not ask my co-workers what they have planned for the weekend.

Today is Father’s Day and I’m a card carrying member of The Dead Dad’s Club. Though the name of our club sounds harsh it is our way of memorializing our fathers. Most of us in the club agree our fathers had a sense of humor to support our sardonic group name.

We formed innocently enough one night over beers. The Fates had found it necessary to bring together different circles of friends that once seated and stories told realized they formed a human Venn Diagram whose common space was our departed fathers.

That night, though nothing was said, we had our own Hallmark-less, cookout-less, present-less, and fatherless Father’s Day. I will not speak for everyone at that table but I imagine for a split second we all held a mental memorial for the men who were half responsible for making us.

This Father’s Day I will spend time thinking of the men who taught us to make soup, who could play a mean accordion, who proudly served our country, who filled a station wagon full of kids and travelled cross country, who stopped to make history by being photographed on a toilet in the middle of a field, who built a log home, who could light up any room with his electrical skills, who took us to our first psychic reading, who made historical societies cool, and who knew that even after he was gone could make a difference to a medical school.

So this week’s recipe is dedicated to my father, Just J. In my mind this is a family recipe. It very well could have come from Good Housekeeping decades back. But only my father could make it a real family delicacy. It’s a simple soup. From a store bought can. But made to taste homemade because of who taught me to make it.

Just J’s Bean with Bacon Soup (aka Dumps)

Feeds me for about two days. Or a family of four for one meal




Soups, Shelley Duvall and Sweaters from The Shining

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

Oooooo....gurl I have been laaaaaazzzzzy. I swear with the change in weather I need about a month to adjust. Having to weed out all the Pumpkin Spice food at the supermarket is taking up most of my daylight as it is. And let's not even get started on the new releases on Netflix. 

Who are we kidding? I am still hooked on Murder, She Wrote. 

A couple of topics this week. 

First let us quick recap the September New To Us Restaurant, The Monte Carlo.  

This Warehouse gem is older than God and worth a stop. Situated around the corner from a strip joint and adjacent to an overpriced men's clothing store what more could you ask for? 

The food was pretty damn good. I had the classic Plaza Burger. Basically it's a burger covered in sour cream. There is no arguing with that. Wash it down with a Moscow Mule and your Saturday lunch turns into a 1968 night at the supper club.  

I will say the best part of this whole meal was the actual restaurant building itself. When I walked in I was instantly taken to that amazing bar in The Stanley Hotel, featured in The Shining. One of the most glamourous movies of my lifetime. Shelley Duvall is drama queen all the way through this sad coming of age story. Anyway, the bar at the Monte Carlo is a wall of booze. Meals for days. Just go.  

Now let's talk soups. 

Recently I whor'd out some photos on the Instagramz (follow me here to fill that gap in your life)of soups I have made and a few requests for recipes have popped up. Now please keep in mind most of the time when I make a soup it's because something in  my fridge is about to turn and I will be damned if I am throwing away a squash that is 95% still fresh.  

Potato Soup Two Ways

Carrots

Scallions

Red Onion

Red Potato

Chicken Broth

Salt and Pepper

Heavy Cream

Way One:

Medium dice the carrots, red onion and red potato. Place on lined baking sheet along with a couple scallions. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until tender and looks good enough to risk burning your fingers to pick off the sheet.  

Using a slotted spoon place all roasted vegetables in a medium sized stock pot, add chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.  

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. And know that nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Way Two: 

Assuming the night before you roasted a chicken with way too many carrots and scallions take those left overs along with your freshly diced red onion and red potatoes into a pot with a few swirls of olive oil. Saute until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. Again nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Roasted Acorn Squash and Horseradish Soup (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 Acorn Squash (about 3 pounds)

3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock

1 T Grated Horseradish

3/4 t Salt

1/4 t Ground Black Pepper

Heavy Cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil.  Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 

Combine chicken stock, horseradish, salt, and pepper in a medium pot, and bring to simmer. Scoop squash flesh out of skins, and place in pot.  Bring to simmer and continue to cook for about 10 mins. 

Remove from heat and blend smooth using an immersion blender. Add heavy cream to taste (I usually use about 1/4 cup).  Garnish with chopped parsley if you care.  

Until next time ladies.  

White Girls with Pumpkin Lattes, Winter Squash and The Walking Dead

my picture, someone else's ( click here ), and my photo

my picture, someone else's (click here), and my photo

Fall is officially here. The Dakota Provinces were taken over by a winter storm and I got chilly walking from the car to the theatre last night. There are just no good in between season jackets for dudes.  

It has been crazy busy in the man panty selling world which is why you didn't hear from me last week. Or I was totally emotionally eating and binge watching The Walking Dead. It was so long ago I don't recall. 

So this weekend was dedicated to continuing to do nothing. I spent part of Saturday in cinema therapy, part of the day preening and then being cultural in the evening by going to a show. 

Today I decided to take advantage of the rain and cold and the mysterious spaghetti squash that has been laying around the kitchen for a week. All over the blogosphere I keep seeing winter squash/apples and shiny white girls sipping pumpkin spice lattes. Knowing I only care about two of those things I googled up my good friend Martha to see what I could do with the winter squash and three apples I had on hand.  

Below is the resulting recipe (because who the hell ever has everything at home?):

That's it folks - I'm off to Supper Sluts. This month we are eating out. Nothing special. Just burgers.

See you next week.  

Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MARTHA STEWART



Tomato, Toasted Cheese and Total Strangers

Now that Winter has officially set in it's safe to assume that we are all packing on the Winter Weight in order to survive. If you're like me you've sent off the extra christmas cookies with anybody that walks by the house. Or you're also like me and just unhinged your jaw and took down the whole freezer bag of them because, "if I eat them all now or spaced out over the next month it's the same amount of calories". Who are we kidding?  Eat the damn cookies. But when they are gone it's time to CLEANSE!

And what better way than by working out!  

Did you just throw up a little? I did.

Unlike my gym minded landlord and roommate, I am not going to the gym. It's just too cold out. And I do not have the stamina to wait out those resolutioners who don't have the ability to watch ESPN and use the elliptical without falling off.  

So my cleanse is starting with my food intake.

Tonight's dinner option was brought to us by my friend, Lady O of Boston. This grande Italian duchess is mother to none other than my electronic pen pal Anastasia Beaverhausen. I have never met Lady O of Boston but totally believe that she is a deity of Italian descent who wears only 3" heels, red lipstick and bathes in olive oil. A few days back Ms. Beaverhausen was telling me that she was making her mother's famous homemade tomato soup. Being a sucker for Campbell's I had ventured to ask what made it so good.  Ms. Beaverhausen simply sent me the recipe. There was nothing to it. And it was reason to use my immersion blender. Buy one (you know you want to).

So one night this week as the roommate slaved away working at the dining room table I pretended to break a sweat in the kitchen making dinner for us. As stated above the weather has turned nip hardening cold and the recipe was mind numbingly easy. Last minute I decided to pair it with some grilled cheese croutons enrobed in parmesan.  Totally light in calories.

Seriously though. The soup is not bad for you. The worst thing is this massive quantity recipe is 2T sour cream and 1T sugar.  

"She's been making it since I was a little girl. I don't know where she got the recipe, but I love it." - Anastasia Beaverhausen


Ofelia's Tomato Soup