Winter is here for most of us. One of the most warming and comforting things for me to have in the winter is a nice, hot bowl of soup.
There are many ways to make soup. One way NOT to make it is…
Summer. Yes, it’s hot out there. Summer in the Middle East, really hot out there. Summer in Ra’anana, hot, muggy and uncomfortably hot out there. So what are the two things that relax me the most in the summer? I like to slave over a hot stove, I like to bake things in the oven, and I like to knit and crochet. Granted, the AC needs to be working. Without the AC my favorite thing to do in the summer is to lie supine in bed, in a coma. Wake me in November.
I have a confession to make. I am an addict. Not just a food addict, this one is a much more serious addiction, and in order to get my drug into my system I need to use needles. Family and friends (and bank managers) have tried intervention, but to no avail. I need to use those needles on a daily basis.
You see that bag up there in the picture. I made it myself. I couldn’t help myself. One day I wandered into The Gourmet Yarn Shop and Orly, the owner, became my pusher. She enables me. She takes my money and I walk out of there with my stash. My needles. I need to get that stuff into my system.
This bag has magical properties, it’s a Mary Poppins bag, but it works in the opposite manner. Instead of all sorts of amazing objects coming out of it, things go in there and never come out. I buy a few things at the supermarket, put them in my bag (to save the planet and not use the plastic stuff), and they are never seen again. Knitting needles, crochet hooks, notebooks, chocolate bars, stuff goes in there and never comes out. I’ll bet Jimmy Hoffa is in there…
The other day I downloaded and printed out a recipe for what looked like a really great cream soup. It would be perfect to serve right before Tisha B’Av, full of carbs and filling and just right to have before a 25 hour fast. My mistake? I put it in my bag, never to be seen again. This is the Little Shop of Horrors bag (feed me, Miriyummy, feed me all night long).
What to do? We have a fast coming up and need to load up on the carbs. Ju-Boy claims that if you give him half an onion, he can have supper ready in half an hour. I’m the same way with soup, just as long as I have my handy dandy immersion blender, I can make soup out of anything.
Zhuzzed Potato and Leek Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, unpeeled and well scrubbed
- 1 large zucchini, unpeeled and well scrubbed
- 1 medium leek (including the green)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 packed cup parsley (just the leaves, no stems)
- 1 liter (4 cups) water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and start sautéeing until golden.
- Cut up the potatoes into smallish dice and add them to the pan, let them get some good color as well. Chop up the zucchini and the leek, toss them into the pan, keep sautéeing. Do the same with the garlic, but throw them in whole. Now add the parsley and give it one final stir.
- Add the water, bring it to the boil, turn the heat down, cover the pot, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Now comes the fun part. Get out your immersion blender. Take the pot off the flame, stick your stick in the soup, and start zhuzzing. You don’t know what zhuzz means? Neither does dictionary.com. But it’s simple onomatopoeia, you just stick your stick in the soup, and start zhuzzing. What is so difficult about this? Need a picture?
- Add the brown sugar, the salt and freshly ground black pepper and zhuzz one more time. If you want to add some soup powder, I won’t tell anyone you did.
I served this soup up with a drizzle of cream, and then added a handful of grated cheddar cheese, which then totally obscured the cream in the picture, so we got the flavor and calories without the visual enjoyment.
The soup heats up well in the microwave. You could take some to work with you and it would taste even better. If I tried it, however, it would probably just get lost in my bag.