Monday, December 15, 2008

Bacon Potato Soup + Medieval Forest Brussel Sprouts (week of December 7 - 13)

Bacon Potato Soup
Adapted from a recipe that came from the CSA farm we had a share in this past year - the original (from Fresh from the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher) called for prosciutto di Parma. I substituted bacon and love the results - the comforting depth of the potatoes and cabbage, the zippy fresh herbs. I made a huge pot in September with red cabbage and froze the delicate-pinky purple leftovers which we enjoyed now months later.

Melt:
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Saute:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

until onions are transparent, about 10 minutes.

Add:

  • 2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed, chopped in ½ inch cubes

Season with:

  • Salt and pepper

Stir and saute about 3 minutes.

Add:

  • 2 cups broth
  • 4 cups water

Bring to a simmer, cover and adjust heat to maintain simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until most of htem break down and begin to thicken soup. It's nice to leave a few slightly rough pieces to give the soup a more interesting texture.

Stir in:

  • ¾ pounds green or red cabbage, finely sliced

Simmer gently until cabbage is just tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Medieval Forest Brussel Sprouts

On a whim, I tired combining a few Northern European late autumn-ripening foods. These tastes are meant to be eaten together. The red apple peel is especially pretty against the bright green of the lightly sauteed sprouts.

Clean and cut in half:

  • 1 - 2 stalks of brussel sprouts

Heat in a pan:

  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons goose fat (or butter)

Saute brussel sprouts with:

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 - 2 apples, unpeeled but chopped small
  • ¼ - ½ cup fresh walnuts, shelled and quartered
  • Salt and pepper to taste

When sprouts turn bright green and onions soften, remove from heat and sprinkle with

  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Adjust salt and pepper before serving.

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