Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tasty Goodness

The last week or two have been cold. And foggy. And did I mention it was damp? How damp you ask? Well we did have some very pretty frost:
The spider has been missing in action for months but her web is still hanging out on the gate.
In spite of the cold I have been trying to get some yarn dyed and up in the shop. Drying takes forever here and I have been forced to employ the de-humidifiers. Here are some pictures of last weeks work: "Squash Blossom" for Brenda Dayne's Driving Miss Daisy gloves, "Walnut" ( a beautiful rich colour with hints of gold) and "Silver Sage" which is a delicate silver green ... just the colour of the sage brush at home in Idaho.

To combat the chill I decided to make barley soup. I love soups but for some reason barley has never been my favorite ... that is until I had it while I was up in Bolzano in December. They made a soup that was amazing. I had tried to make it in January and came up quite short in both the tasty goodness category and in the filling/satisfying category. And then I read a cookbook that mentioned cheese broth. That was when I realized that the amazing flavor in the Bolzano soup was, in fact, a cheesy flavor. So I dragged all of the cheese rinds that I had stored in the freezer and set them to simmer for 3 or so hours in a pot of water (to cover the cheese) on the stove.

That is the cheese broth in the picture above. The whole house smelled great. Then I strained out the cheese rinds and refrigerated the broth overnight. The next day I used some of the fat from the top to saute the veg for the soup, threw the rest of the fat out and made a very tasty soup. Here is te recipe I came up with:

Bolzano Barley Soup

1 onion diced
2 carrots diced
3 ribs of celery diced
Sweat these in a bit of fat from the cheese broth or (for the unbearably health conscious) in a bit of olive oil
Then add 1 c. pearled barley
the cheeese broth
and 3 or 4 cups of good chicken stock (start with the lesser amount and add as needed)
add a pinch or two of oregano and basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for an hour or so stirring frequently and adding broth as needed. The soup should be thick and creamy. Here, they add a smoked ham called speck, diced fine, but if you want to add meat to it any ham would work. I'd show a picture of the finished soup but to be honest we ate it all. LOL
I am sorry for typos in this or any other post but I have given up trying to convince blogger to run the spell check n English. It is absolutly convinced that I want everything spell checked in Italian. It wins.

Caught in a tree branch
The moon's cloud veil is pulled free
By the morning breeze.


Anonymous said...

The colours of the yarn are gorgeous ....... but I'm not too sure about the soup!!

Heather said...

I can't do barley but there are some other ancient grains I think would hold up to this. CHEESE RINDS (sounds like a bad punk band)--I have to start saving these. What else were you saving (freezing) these for? Never heard of that.
I always learn the most interesting things from you.