Monday, March 31, 2008

A Hot Homage to Ada

Today would have been my Great-Grandmother's 94th birthday. And so, in her honor I have made vegetable soup. I have never been able to accurately replicate her recipe, but today's pot is passable. Here is my version of Ada Sara Edna Lee Harris' all day vegetable soup.

EV olive oil and butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 potatoes, cubed small
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped or shredded
1 bag of frozen mixed veggies (the kind with limas)
1 can of diced tomatoes with the juice
garlic powder
salt & pepper
bay leaf
4-6 cups broth (beef, veggie, chicken, whatever)

This being a recipe born of the depression, it is flexible and easily adaptable to the ingredients on hand. My Great-Grandmother always produced her own version of a beef stock, to which she added her other ingredients. I very rarely go the bother of that. I achieve that slow cooked flavor by sauteing as many of my ingredients as possible, before adding the liquids. I start with the onion and celery in a combo of butter and olive oil (GG would not approve of the olive oil). As soon as they are soft, I add the potatoes ( red potatoes will hold together better). I salt with each ingredient. Time is relative to the size and shape of your cooking pot. If I'm feeling ambitious, I will cook all the veggies in a big skillet, while the broth warms in the soup pot, otherwise I just do it all in one pot. Once everything is in the pot, I thrown in the bay leaf and let it come to a boil. I adjust the other seasoning as the veggies start to break down. This soup can be made with all fresh, canned, or frozen ingredients or a combination of the three. Hell, if you've ever made soup, you know that. For best enjoyment; eat with a big slab of well buttered white bread, put on enough rouge to be seen in the dark and wax nostalgic about President Kennedy.

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