It’s outrageously cold outside. We are on our second day of school closings due to dangerous wind chills. I decided to make chicken soup.
Readers, you know me. Nothing goes exactly right at the O.K. Chorale.
Let’s start at the very beginning. A vegetarian librarian I know (everyone should know a vegetarian librarian) suggested a cookbook of vegetarian foods. Through my sources for used books, I found a well worn copy. You know it’s a good cookbook if the binding is worn and there are a few spills here and there. As I paged through it, the old paperback started to fall apart.
No problem. I set aside the pages I wanted, drew circles around recipes with potential, and crossed out anything I didn’t need. Project one: jalapeno cornbread. Result: delicious. Next time: don’t be shy about adding a second jalapeno pepper.
Project two: garlic soup. “Chuck” and I decided it looked delicious, but we didn’t think we’d serve just the simple garlic soup. We were more likely to use it as a base for something else. Chicken, I thought. Garlic soup with chicken and rice or noodles. Yum!
So I mixed up the broth and got it started in the slow cooker. Did you want the details? Okay, here’s the basic recipe with my Daisy changes.
6 cups water (I had beef broth handy, so I used that)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 large cloves garlic, minced or put through a press (I couldn’t find our garlic press. #@*!)
1 teaspoon dried sage (I used fresh)
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I used fresh)
Later, the recipe calls for bringing the soup to a boil and adding 2 beaten eggs. I might do that – or not. But chicken: I went downstairs to find a package of chicken breasts. It was gone. Chuck had cooked it last week.
Now what? I had a great garlic broth simmering, smelling wonderful, and no chicken. The wind chill was in the area of 40 below zero, so I did not feel disposed to going out to the nearby meat market. I dug through our own meat drawer and found – jackpot! a container of browned ground beef intended for tacos one of these nights. A-ha! Cheeseburger Soup with a garlic base!
I grated a few potatoes into the already-aromatic garlic broth. Late in the afternoon, I will rouse myself from my blanket and add ground beef, leftover corn, and anything else that occurs to me. Finally, when it’s time to serve, I’ll top each bowl with croutons and shredded cheese.
Nothing goes exactly right at the O.K. Chorale. But who needs perfection? All I need today is a heavy blanket and a warm and savory soup. Stay warm, friends. Relief is on the way.
And while you’re in your own cozy cocoon, what suggestions do you have for this garlic soup? Chicken? Ground beef? Egg drop? Anything else?