Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Soup's On

In lieu of blog posting I have been feeding the woodstove.

Ah. The woodstove. Such a romantic thing, the woodstove.

Soups bubbling away on top, children playing board games, basking in the warmth.

When temperatures dip down to the teens (we were at 10 degrees one night), and only rise to mid 20's in the daytime, it isn't quite so romantic. More a matter of life and death. The boys cart in many apple boxes of wood for me. Five typically get us through the evening and the first load up of morning. We take turns sleeping in the living room to do the three refills at 11:30, 1:45 and 3am. The wind howls and the coyotes yip. The mom gets kind of sleepy. She truly loves heating with the woodstove, but the record lows this early in the winter season are trying.

All that said, it is rather nice to get back to woodstove soups. This week's special was split pea barley soup with turkey. I made a huge batch so we could freeze half for later. You might want to make a smaller pot. Here is the basic idea:

Saute a chopped onion, two stalks of celery, two or three carrots in a little bit of olive oil. Add 3/4 gallon of the wonderful stock you made from your leftover turkey bones. Or some broth you buy at Krogers. Or plain water. Throw in two or three cloves of smashed garlic. Add one cup of rinsed split peas and one cup of pearled barley. Add one generous teaspoon of dried thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Place pot of soup makings on top of your woodstove (or kitchen stove if you have other ways of heating your house.) I let this concoction cook for two or three hours or more. If your soup looks too thick, add more water or broth. Simple, but so yummy on blustery days. If you had a leftover ham bone, throw that in the pot and add some chopped up ham. Be sure and give a stir occasionally to keep everything from burning on the bottom once it gets thick.


Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I'm glad you mentioned I could use Kroger's broth because no, I did not make any wonderful stock out of my turkey bones. In fact, I was so mad, when I asked Kurt to carve the turkey and put all the white meat on a plate, I turned around and the next thing I knew he'd thrown the rest of it, the entire thing in the garbage! All the good dark meat, all the stuff I give to the dog... I do not know what he was thinking. said...

Philip did the same thing one year. I threw a fit! And once somebody washed all the drippings down the sink. Eegads. All the good soup stuff. Oh well. I have used Kroger broth on way more than one occasion. Way better than marital discord! I believe it is bad for your health to be so legalistic about food issues that it causes stress and regular family fights. So now your hubby knows! And I do hope desperately that you and other readers never get the idea that we never take shortcuts over here. I like doing things from scratch, and believe that it is way better for us,but there have been many opportunities in this very hard year for us to have to compromise... C'est la vie.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I'm sure you do take shortcuts Ginger. You're only human. I just wish I was half as good as you guys! Too many Pizza Bites going on here...