Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday is for Sleeping In. . . and a Warm Cup of Tea!

First, I have to say I am sooo excited! I went to storage today and found my delicate porcelain teacup and saucer with beautiful little yellow roses and baby green leaves for the pattern. You know, I really enjoy a warm cup of tea but there is something special to be said about sipping this wonderful flavor in a delicate and beautiful cup. Now I just need to clean it so that I can take a proper picture and show everyone my pride and joy.
This post is to my late best friend in the whole world. . .my grandpa! Ever since I was old enough to know what grandpa meant. . .I knew he was amazing. . . and everyday I find something that makes me cherish a warm memory of him and this causes me to smile. With fall here, to me this says soup season. I have to say this out loud and I feel silly for saying it but soup intimates the hell out of me! Yeppers, it's the stock that gets me. I want homemade stock and I do not always have the time to make homemade stock nor the expertise to do this very often. I do try once in a while and when I do, I freeze the extra since I am making it to get the extra. I *always* have to go by a recipe to do this. My grandma used to make fabulous soup with great flavor and she looked like she was throwing whatever into the pot. . .making me wonder if I was going to be stuck eating something terrible. I am telling you. . .this is a true statement. I have seen the woman put candied pineapple into soup before! Grandpa even complained when he saw this and she told him he knew where the peanut butter was and to make good use of it if she heard a negative comment from him again! Grandpa just smiled and winked at me.
The reason this fabulous vegetable soup is to my Grandpa is because of his beautiful vegetable gardens he grew every year. For his tender, foot long green beans, he would start by have 5 poles positioned tee pee style and plant 10 seeds around each pole. Out of these 10 seeds, he would weed 5 of the weakest plants out and keep the other strong and hardy 5 plants. Grandma always had a ton of green beans to use every summer. His other veggies that he grew were just as clever and simple with the vegetables always being a delight to go pick fresh. It is hard not to smile while I type. This all feels so much like just yesterday, you know what I mean?
I found this recipe a while back in a Cuisine Magazine, believe it or not. I had to try it using fresh veggies and now I make this soup several times a month. I get so tickled over making the dumplings. They are cute little fluff balls with tons of flavor!
To start out, I always get all the ingredients together because there is a lot of chopping involved. Do you ever have one of those days where you long to just be in the kitchen listening to good music, sipping a beverage of choice and mindlessly chopping away? . . .relaxing.

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

Saute in 2 T. Olive Oil:
1 c. onions, diced
1/2 c. carrots, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
Deglaze with; stir in:
1/2 c. dry white wine
6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 c. cauliflower florets
1 c. zucchini, diced
1 bay leaf
3 c. tomatoes, diced
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 c. fresh green beans, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
Herb Dumplings:
Makes 20-25 dumplings and Total time to make:30 minutes
Whisk together and stir in; Melt:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. Parmesan, grated
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2/3 c. whole milk
3 T. unsalted butter
Heat; Cook dumplings in:


  • Saute onion, carrot, and celery in oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Deglaze with wine; simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in broth, potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, corn, beans, salt and pepper. Return to a boil and cook 5 more minutes.

Herb Dumplings Directions:

  • After adding the last part of veggies to the soup, start making the dumplings.
  • Whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper together in a bowl; stir in the herbs. Melt butter in the milk in a saucepan over medium heat, then blend into dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Shape dough into balls the size of a ping pong ball. I use a melon ball scoop to make these with. When the above soup is in the last stage of cooking and you have dropped the heat to a simmer, add the dumpling balls to the top of the soup, cover, and gently simmer 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This soup looks beautiful when served with all the bright colors of the different vegetables and the fluffy dumplings. If I was in the South, I am sure the Southern people would be insulted because dumplings are much flatter. That's okay, I like those too! =D

1 comment:

Belinda said...

Shandy, what a sweet memory to share of your beloved Grandfather, and it sounds like your Grandmother was a sweet and sassy lady...I love the "you know where the peanut butter is" funny. :-) Your soup sounds like a winner to me, and with all of those pretty, fresh, colorful vegetables, there was no way you could go wrong. You will have to post a photo of your teacup. :-)