ANN BAILEY: Man and beast find appetite in cold weatherI know that I’m not the only one who considers soup a staple food of winter. A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Tiedeman, my co-worker and longtime friend, wrote a column about soup and shared some recipes on his Wednesday food page. I thought I would also share with readers a couple of my favorites.
So far in January, the old saying “When the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to lengthen” has rung true. And some of the coldest days we’ve had this month have been on weekends when there were two blizzard warnings on two consecutive Saturdays.
When the temperatures drop well below zero and the wind is blowing from the north with velocity in the double digits, one of the first things I do is to make sure that the animals and fowl living outside have plenty to eat.
I give the horses extra hay, bed their barn heavily with straw, I give the chickens another measure of mash, and spread another layer of straw in their house to help fuel them against the cold and make them as comfortable as I can. I also make sure our bird feeder is full.
Our dogs and cats live with us in the house when it’s frigid outside, so usually the only time they need extra food is when my husband, Brian, takes Maggie and Minnie, our yellow Labs, on a long run with him, and they need some additional calories.
Making sure the animals and birds are well taken care of is part of the stewardship that my parents taught me growing up on the farm and something I’ve never forgotten. It gives me a good feeling to know that I’ve done my best for the creatures that depend on me and my family.
After I finished tending to our four-legged and feathered friends, I start thinking about cooking. I like cooking and baking any time of the year, but my enthusiasm for it grows even greater when it’s cold and there’s a blizzard raging outside.
A couple of my favorite things to make during weather like that are chocolate chip cookies and soup. Chocolate chip cookies are a personal favorite of our family and great to munch on when we gather to watch a movie or play some board games, and I just think soup is the ultimate comfort food.
I enjoy not only eating the soup, but also making it. With soup, unlike with baking, I feel like I can be creative and throw in some things that aren’t in the recipes or leave others out. Meanwhile, I can also substitute ingredients my family likes for ones they don’t.
There’s something about chopping up the soup ingredients and throwing them in a pot with spices that satisfies the soul. Then, when the soup is cooking, we enjoy the wonderful scent of whatever is in the pot wafting through our house.
When the soup is ready, we sit down to supper as a family, and we eat a hearty bowl of soup with some of Brian’s homemade bread while we talk about the day.
I know that I’m not the only one who considers soup a staple food of winter. A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Tiedeman, my co-worker and longtime friend, wrote a column about soup and shared some recipes on his Wednesday food page.
I thought I would also share with readers a couple of my favorites:
Baked potato soup
4 baking potatoes
2/3 cup flour
6 cups 2 percent reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
¾ cup green onion, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake for an hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes and coarsely mash. Discard skins.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level it with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven, gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, ¾ cup cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and ½ cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle about 1½ cups soup into eight bowls. Sprinkle each bowl of soup with 1½ teaspoons cheese, 1½ teaspoons onions and about 1 tablespoons of crumbled bacon.
Yield: Eight servings.
Beef barley soup
1 pound stew meat, cut into ½-inch cubes
7 to 8 cups water
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
¾ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoon beef bouillon or three cubes
½ teaspoon basil leaves
1 bay leaf
½ cup pearled barley
1½ cups chopped carrots
1½ cups chopped celery
In a large kettle, combine stew meat, tomatoes, onions, bullion, basil, bay leaf and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook 30 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf and serve.
Reach Bailey at email@example.com or (218) 779-8093.