Ahhh... Winter. Don’t go too soon.
What? You would like to stay yet are feeling you have over extended your visit due to others disparaging feelings about you and your volatile nature?
Nonsense! These things do don’t exist in my world.
Don’t you know that I grew up in Arizona?! A land of vast valley’s of nothing but rock and brush? Where their idea of winter is 60 degrees and Christmas is always over 65 degrees?
Do you remember me getting all dressed up in snow suits when we went up north just to play around in some patches of snow. Patches I tell you! Don’t you remember how excited I was just for those patches? Or how I cried when the heat was turning the small areas of snow into slush and there was the inevitable gut wrenching knowledge that my slushy snowman would disappear?
Stay a while. You know how I love to cuddle up on the couch next to you with a warm fire eating comfort foods that pad my behind. I call it getting ready for hibernating. So, please stick around and let me hibernate just a tad bit longer. It’s only February you know.
I also know that you know about how my husband Robert, seems to be moving me further into the deep south with every strategic job move. Thus leaving me further and further away from your cold grasp. I always get that twinge of excitement when I see snow on the ground and the inevitable let down when it melts a day later. Because, birds fly south for a reason you know.
You understand how I love you so. Along with the baking, hot cocoas, braises, roasts and soups. Mmmm... soup. Always seems to be just the thing to warm me up. So stay a while, I’m sure you would love this recipe as I do. Enjoy!
This recipe came to me recently via Real Simple. Amazing magazine that I absolutely love for well, the simplicity of it's contents. I have however, re-arranged and changed a few things to meet my taste, This recipe is extremely easy and pairs well with a side salad, is fast and nothing can beat having an amazing, healthy meal any day of the week.
Whole Wheat Croutons
I believe 100% in using almost everything. Waste nothing! These croutons are the perfect example of that. I save the heels of bread loaves or if I bake my own loaf and I notice it starting to go stale, I either stick it in the freezer for later use or use it right then for anything from bread crumbs to these croutons.
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into one inch (or larger if preferred) cubes and place in medium bowl.
2. Drizzle enough olive oil to get a light coating over the bread cubes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and put in oven for a total of 10 minutes, flipping with spatula halfway through.
3. Can keep in airtight container for a few days afterwards.
Creamy Brocoli Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil; Plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bunch broccoli, florets roughly chopped and stems peeled and sliced. About 7 cups
1 large russet potato (about 8 oz.) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
Parmesan Reggiano (Just enough for a few shavings)
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
2. Add the broth, broccoli, potato, 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
3. In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water as necessary (Alternatively use an immersion blender in the saucepan) Top with the croutons, parmesan reggiano shavings and drizzle with olive oil.