The Soup That Eats Like A Meal

The presence of smoked chicken carcasses in the fridge could mean only one thing: stock. And now it’s that most compelling time of year, with warm sun and chilly shade and mountains bedecked with autumn raiment under skies of impossibly clear and cloudless blue. Each season so far this year has been pretty splendid; summer got a bit too hot and dry for a while, but in all it’s just been gorgeous weather. And we’re having a stunning Indian summer that just goes on and on (and the best days have been hitting on the weekends). Last night was the first light frost.

So what I’m saying is that it’s soup season.

Now noodle soup is a pretty common occurrence around here, so this time around I figured I’d mix it up a little. Instead of soba or udon I took the one remaining egg and beat it with some milk and then added flour until it was of a sufficient stiffness. Then I kneaded in a bunch of chopped basil, rolled out snakes, cut them into segments, and rolled those into little balls. After a trip to the garden, I grated a small daikon and mixed it in with its chopped leaves, a minced scallion, and broccoli florets and added that mixture to the simmering smoked stock along with the dumplings. Once they were all floating, I turned off the heat and ladled. A little garnish of Thai basil and fennel flowers tried to add some color, but did not succeed overmuch. It didn’t matter.

4 comments to The Soup That Eats Like A Meal

  • El

    Definitely something in the air. We had our first chix soup Tues. night (reg. handrolled noodles though) from this year’s first roasted chix. Having been without chicken for a couple of months (long story) it made me wistful, but it’s really healing soup, don’t you agree?

    (Ask me this same question when I am simmering carcass #30 though.)

  • Yup. Soup season is here, and you know, I’m pretty happy about it. I haven’t yet gotten to dumplings; what’s wrong with me?

  • This makes my day. Well, it will make a future day, when it’s not so hot outside. I love your little balls, and you can quote me.

  • Peter

    El: Try smoking a few of them for variety. It’s like BBQ soup.

    Julia: I have no idea. You must be a bad person.

    CC: I bet you say that to all the guys.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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