It’s a good thing I’ve lived in New England for more than 50 years; it has taught me how to survive on days like this. By this, I mean: temperatures in the teens (Fahrenheit), wind at 10-20 mph, and steady snow falling, likely to continue for 24-36 hours.
One of the important survival skills has to do with — what else? — food. A day like this just screams out for a comforting soup. And boy, do I love making, and eating, soup. Today’s version has no name, but you can think of it as essentially northern Italian with whatever I can find in the refrigerator and pantry. (This is not a day to go grocery shopping.) The ingredients go cheerfully into my new Emile Henry fig-colored dutch oven. Those ingredients enter the pot in stages, cooking on medium heat in each stage:
- olive oil, celery, carrot, onion, and leek — diced finely
- turnip and new potato, 3/4″ cubes
- tomato sauce, in this case some leftover tomato/onion purée
- sun-dried tomatoes, medium dice
- chopped parsley, garlic and sage leaves (still fresh in my garden)
- a can of Italian cannellini beans
- salt & peeper
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of leftover cooked organic brown rice
- a handful of Maine sea vegetables (Sea Lettuce)
- a few pinches of Maras pepper
Simmer until the potatoes are tender, and then some. Let the soup sit for 10-30 minutes. Serve with a slice of toasted Tuscan pane and one or more glasses of 2010 Li Veli Passamante, one of my favorite Negroamaro wines, from southern Puglia.