Today is the last day to vote for me to get into the semi-finals for Best Food Photography on a Blog at The Kitchn – I implore you, please vote! I really appreciate all of the kind words from you since the contest has started – thank you, thank you, thank you! The competition is seriously fierce, and I’ve discovered some beautiful blogs along the way. I wish you all the best of luck and hope to get into the finals with all of you talented people!
Now, onto more exciting matters: it’s Snowpocalypse 2013! I love me a good snowpocalypse. The last one we had was in 2011, from what I remember, and what I remember was that it was exhausting. New York got record breaking snow, and as luck would have it, I was the only person in town in my office, so I had to go in. This was right before we moved to Brooklyn, so I was still making the trek out from Queens. That means I had to walk about 15 minutes to the train to begin with. Add in what amounted to enough snow to go past my knees, and it took me 30 minutes to trudge through the unplowed streets and sidewalks. The walk home was even worse, when it was dark and some of the snow had melted into giant sheets of seemingly invisible ice. One guy even helped me climb (yes, climb) a mountain of snow that was blocking an entire block. The trek to work was like that for two or three days, and while it was certainly a work out that I wouldn’t want to repeat, it was kind of fun in its own way, especially for someone who had spent the previous eight years of her life in Phoenix, Arizona. The only frosty experience I had there was waking up to an iced-over windshield on a freakishly cold day and having to scrape it off with a spatula because why in the world would I have an ice scraper in my car? I remember calling Kramer outside to see and he just looked at me like I was totally hopeless. Hey, man, it’s ice! In Arizona! He probably just wanted to go back to sleep, but I’m sorry I assumed that he wanted to be woken up at 6 AM to see my icy windshield. Excuuuuuse me. Anyway, I hope that everyone in sure to be harder hit areas stay safe today and into tomorrow. Bundle up, stay inside, and make sure you have a flash light, just in case!
So, if you’re stuck indoors and bored over the weekend, like I’m sure I’m going to be, then why not make soup? Make a big ol’ batch of soup. Then you can freeze (haw haw haw) it and eat it next week for a quick after-work dinner. I’ve been known to have at least two or three different kinds of frozen soup in my freezer at all times, especially in the winter. Root vegetables are just so delicious when they’ve been roasted and start to caramelize around the edges that they’re just begging to be pureed and eaten out of a big bowl with a big spoon. The leeks are savory and earthy, the potatoes are creamy and almost buttery, and the carrots add a touch of sweetness, which I brought out even more by putting just a small pinch of sugar into the soup as I pureed it. These flavors are nothing new, especially when combined, but they are homey and comforting. I was worried that Kramer would be put off by the carrots, but he actually loved it and finished his whole bowl (for which he was, of course, rewarded with dessert, as we all should be). Add some freshly ground black pepper and grated carrots to the finished product for texture and a pretty garnish, and you’ll be sure to watch your family and friends scrape their bowls clean, too.
Just roast all of your veggies, puree, add stock, and heat! It’s that easy.
I’m sure that some crusty bread alongside this soup would be a welcome addition; we ate it with my focaccia.
- 1 pound fingerling or baby Dutch potatoes, cleaned and halved (or cubed, depending on their size)
- 4-5 medium-sized carrots, cleaned and chopped into roughly the same size pieces as your potatoes (so that they roast evenly)
- 2 large leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (leave the tough green parts behind)
- 5 cloves of garlic, left in the peel
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you like it spicier, like me)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- a small pinch of cinnamon
- a small pinch of granulated sugar
- 8-9 cups vegetable stock
- grated carrots, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place all of your chopped vegetables on a baking sheet, along with your garlic cloves, still in their peels, and drizzle with your olive oil, then sprinkle with your spices. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes or so, until fork-tender.
- Place all of the vegetables and peeled garlic in your food processor (working in batches, if you need to, or use an immersion blender), and pulse with a bit of your stock until smooth. Add a cup of stock at a time, pulsing, until you’ve reached your processor’s maximum capacity (which is why I love my immersion blender – no maximum capacity), then push the pureed vegetables through a mesh sieve (or not, but I prefer a smoother texture). Place in a large pot, add the rest of your stock, and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. This will keep well in the fridge for a week, or frozen for 3 months.