Love a Good Soup

I’ve been away from my blog and I apologize for that but it is because I do have joyous, glorious news.

My daughter has, against all odds, delivered safely a baby girl as of Jan. 19th, 11:36 a.m. PST. I say against all odds because she and her partner never thought they could get pregnant at their age, never thought given the stress she’s been under that she could carry to term and most terrifying of all, she never knew that she was literally, a physical time bomb with a previously undiagnosed medical condition that was so severe that it could have killed them both had she gone into labor naturally. This means Baby DuVessa was our family miracle and for those of you not familiar with old Irish names, DuVessa means Dark Beauty which she certainly is. We continue to breathe collective sighs of relief,

So, because we have been isolating bubble fashion together for nearly a year, I spent six glorious days with my grandchildren helping to home school and clean and organize pantry, freezers and fridge while keeping the home fires burning. It made me respect, even more than I already did, all those parents out there home schooling their kids. It’s HARD and this when my grandkids were super helpful and we all pulled together as a team, anxiously waiting for mom, Daddy Dave and our intrepid baby DuVessa to come home safely because once she had the baby, the next miracle was getting out of that death trap of a hospital safely and COVID free.

Note to self: I should never underestimate my grown child. Against all the odds, against everything we know about having babies via C-Section, they all came home just 36 hours after the baby was born. Normally, she would have stayed three or four days but they came home nonetheless, they knew the risk increased every hour they stayed so barely able to walk, my daughter insisted on coming home.

I made her risotto but in reality, she needed soup. Once we got her pain under control and out newest little night owl on a day schedule, I decided my first act when I got back into my own kitchen would be to create for her a special warm, nourishing soup all her own.

Before I left, we were watching some food show and some chef made, of all things, carrot soup.

“That looks really good,” my nursing daughter remarked.

Carrot soup it was.

So, I created the following free form recipe which you can pull from your pantry and veggie crisper easily. It is something that you can also toss into the slow cooker and set it and forget it just like I did.

Method: Pull a fist full of carrots (five or so) from your crisper along with one or two stalks of celery, an onion and a potato. If the potato isn’t thin skinned, peel it. Dice up everything roughly the same one-inch size while you melt half a stick of butter in a large frying pan. I used my trusty cast iron skillet. Fry the carrots first for a couple of minutes before adding the celery, potato and then finally, the onion in that order. You can add as you chop, this works out very well time wise. Sauté for good ten minutes and then add at least a tablespoon of minced garlic. I cheated and used the squeeze bottle of garlic bits I keep in my fridge. Sauté for another minute or two and then season with salt and pepper.

Place four to five cups or so of chicken or vegetable stock in your slow cooker and then add in your cooked veggies. Let it cook on low all day. Just let it go. Do nothing else while the magic happens. After at least six hours (I think mine went nine), take it off the heat and let it cool to at least moderately warm, about an hour. Hot is not good because next you put it all in a blender and you do not want hot liquid shooting up out of your blender. It will look strange, liquid gold with a bunch of wilted veggies floating around but just wait. The magic is about to happen. Whirl everything in the blender until very, very smooth and adjust the seasoning if need be. Finally, spoon in the creamy factor and whisk well to combine. I used about half a cup of low fat sour cream but you could use heavy cream, half and half, cream cheese or even plain yogurt. Serve drizzled with flavored oil and topped with cheesy crotons if you like. I made my nursing daughter a giant batch though I refrained from adding in our usual red pepper flakes as garnish. Baby DuVessa can taste the spice apparently and is not a fan.

Soup is a wonderful thing to make for friends or family. It costs next to nothing, uses up whatever veggies you happen to have lying around and is really frugal as well as thoughtful. Make a batch in these still volatile times and see if it doesn’t make a difference. Nothing beats a warm soup make lovingly and for someone you love.

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