..you never know what you're gonna get around here.
And this happened:
(this makes a big pot of soup, enough for large servings for about six people, I'd guess. You can make it smaller if you like by cutting the ingredients in half. But I love making big pots of soup and eating it in the ensuing days.)
2 Tablespoons butter plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Approx. 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds or chunks
3-4 parsnips (they were pretty good-sized parsnips), peeled and sliced
3 medium-sized onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
a piece of fresh ginger, approximately 2 1/2-3 inches long, peeled and chopped coarsely (you may like less ginger. I like robust flavor)
Approx. 1 1/2 quarts water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
In a large soup pot, slowly heat the butter and olive oil until the butter is melted. Add the garlic, and gently cook it over low heat for a few minutes, stirring, until you smell the garlic aroma. Then throw in all the chopped vegetables and give it a good stir.
Let it gently cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally. (these ingredients benefit from being cooked slowly, rather than hot and fast. It's called "sweating" them.)
When the vegetables are beginning to get tender and everything smells heady and marvelous, add 1 quart water. (If I had had any vegetable or chicken stock, I probably would have used that, but I didn't.)
Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer until everything is nicely tender. (I have no idea how long mine simmered -- probably about 40 minutes or so)
Take the soup off the heat and, in sections so as not to overwhelm the processor and have it leak all over and make you go crazy (ask me how I know), puree it in the food processor (or a blender).
Pour the pureed bits into another pot, and then when the whole thing is pureed, put it back in the original pot (this last part sounds silly, but it's what I did - the reason being that the pot I was pouring into was smaller, and I wanted the bigger size of the original pot back.)
In our house we like to leave a few remaining chunks of carrot and onion, etc., in our soup, so I don't overdo the puree, but I guess for a fancy dinner party, you'd want to really puree it.
Put the pot with the soup back on low heat. Mine seemed like it needed some more water, so I added a cup and a half of water. I tasted it to see what it needed. It needed some salt, so I added sea salt to my taste.
Then I felt like it needed something else - something a little bit tangy and fragrant. So I added 1/4 cup Grand Marnier. (you could add orange juice if you don't have or don't like or don't imbibe in Grand Marnier). Gently reheat the soup, so it's hot but not quite to the boiling point.
For the photo, I garnished it with a dollop of plain yogurt.
We enjoyed it. A lot. I've decided to add this to our Thanksgiving dinner.
And then on the knitting thing, I started the Romantic Man Socks.
Thank you for all the suggestions for great cast-ons for my mittens. I look forward to trying them all and choosing my favorite.