My great uncle used to say that he was fixin' to put the little pot in the big one and make soup out of the dishrag. I feel like that is what I have been doing today.
One of my closest friends had an emergency(is there any other kind?) appendectomy day before yesterday. I have not gone to the hospital or called because I remember what abdominal surgery feels like and from what I hear, she has had plenty of people stopping by when she would most likely prefer to be left alone to navigate her morphine dreams as they come and go.
She will be coming home late today or sometime tomorrow. She is fortunate that her mother can come and stay with her. Just the same, I doubt that they will feel a lot like cooking and she needs some healing foods that will go down easy and not tax her digestive system. Therefore, I spent the day making soup.
The soup on the right is a mushroom/barley concoction loosely based on a recipe I got from an issue of Eating Well magazine. I loaded it up with portabellas, shitaki, porcini and white button mushrooms along with onion, sage, and celery. I saved the water that I used to rehydrate the shitakis and porcinis in and, after straining it through a coffee filter, used it for stock. It has a half cup of sherry in it to cut the earthy taste of the 'shrooms. The barley is cooked seperately (small jar on the left) and added to the soup when you heat it up.
The middle jar is tomato soup, the easiest to make. I used canned tomatoes, diced and crushed, that I added to the pot after I had sweated the onions and added dried basil, a tiny bit of turmeric, a kiss of cinnamon, four scrapes of nutmeg, and a hint of cumin along with salt and pepper. Then I added a fresh bay leaf and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes. After that, I took out the bay leaf and blended it with the stick blender until it was just a little bit chunky.
The soup on the left is traditional chicken and veggie. Carrots, celery ,onion and garlic were sweated in a little olive oil then chicken stock was added along with salt, pepper, lots of thyme and sage. This simmered until the veggies were tender and the chicken that had be cooked to make the stock was chopped and added back in along with some left over ginger tea with some small pieces of the ginger still in it. Lemon juice will be squeezed into the bowls when the soup is served.
These soups were specifically chosen and put together with ingredients that have specific healing properties. The begonias are going with the soup.
There is plenty of soup left for us. Some of it will surely be frozen for a time when we don't feel like cooking.