I can hear the rain outside and I have a cup of tea. As I type this, I’m bundled up in my sweats and a blanket. It’s officially soup and stew season. My favourite. But 99% of my kitchenware – so, everything – is packed up. Naturally.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about beginning a year of immersing myself in the Danish concept of hygge. You may wonder why I decided to start this at the same time a moving house. I do, too. Ha. But really, it’s been a good way to balance out the chaos. Particularly since I made a point of keeping one corner completely box free, which has also helped. Behold my temporary and slightly disheveled hyggekrog (cozy space):
Between my cozy corner, yoga, and The Brit making me laugh, it’s been good. (I’m looking forward to having a proper hyggekrog in the new place. The Brit has been made aware that décor shopping is happening in the very near future.)
Except for the lack of home-made soup. When I have access to my pretty pots and pans again, I will be making two of my favourite recipes: Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque and Spelt Flour Soda Biscuits for sopping it all up – recipes below! I cannot find the photos for a particular instance of this meal combo in 2014, but it’s a good memory of a nice meal with friends when things were feeling a bit wobbly. My laptop hard drive had died and, separately, my life was beginning a huge shift; but I was in one of my happy places in the world – Scotland! – and in good company. I decided that making it my turn to cook dinner would cheer me up, and it absolutely did.
CREAMY TOMATO BASIL BISQUE
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- 2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes (try to get these unsalted)
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. balsamic or sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup almond milk (if you’re feeling decadent or can do dairy, whipping cream or half-and-half are amazing to add)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Heat oil in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes. The onion pieces will be translucent.
- Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, basil, bay leaf, and broth. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes
- Remove bay leaf (Remember to do this or you will end up with bay leaf bits in your soup when its blended. They hurt your tongue…)
- Purée soup in blender, food processor, or with a stick blender (this is what I use) until smooth. (OPTIONAL: Strain through a mesh strainer into a large bowl (or if you were using a blender, back into the pot); return to simmer.)
- Remove from heat, and stir in chosen “dairy” – I use almond milk
- Season with salt and pepper, if desired
- Garnish with basil (optional)
- Serve with with grilled cheese sandwiches or with some soda biscuits. Bon appetit!
HEALTHY SPELT FLOUR SODA BISCUITS
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp (or less) salt
- 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped or dried herbs to taste (I use fresh rosemary and thyme)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup almond milk or whatever milk you have on hand
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl
- Whisk in herbs
- Stir in olive oil and milk with a spatula or a wooden spoon (they are the best) until dough comes together.
- Use your hands to lightly gather dough into a ball
- Separate dough into 12 discs (they don’t have to be perfect!) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits have risen and are a light golden brown (The longer you leave them in, the crispier they will be.)
If soda biscuits aren’t your jam, this soup is also excellent with a grilled cheese sandwich.
What is your favourite soup?
Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.
~ Marge Kennedy