I knew it would be cold this morning. The forecast and chatter in the office prepared me, yet when I woke up this morning and saw 5°F on my phone (with the real feel an unspeakably low number), my stomach still did a little flip. Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit–they’re the cities that are supposed to record such low temperatures, not Brooklyn. I felt like the little boy on A Christmas Story. As I bundled up for the morning commute, I could barely move. There was no chance for a long goodbye with my husband–the number of layers I wore were NOT appropriate for indoors and I was already burning up just walking down the stairs. However as soon as I stepped outside, I immediately wished I had found a way to put on the 15th layer.
Aside from the fact that it’s been unseasonably warm the past few days (snow in fall and 70s in winter?), most evenings call for something a bit hearty. A warm bowl of soup to take the chill away. Generally a hearty broth soup filled with veggies, beans and greens will do the trick, but when you seek pure indulgence, a creamy soup is really the only way to go.
Just because it’s 100 degrees out right now is no reason to cut soups out of your diet. Chilled soups are incredibly satisfying. They pack a full meal of nutrients and taste in a tiny little bowl, plus is a meal guaranteed to cool you down. Most recipes with fresh peas are generally have the word “spring” in their titles, however I never seem to be able to find them at the market until late June. To me, once the thermometer hits a consistent 80°F plus, we’re in full on summer.
I’ve never made gazpacho. I’m not even 100% convinced I really like it. But it’s a soup, and I love soup. And it’s socially more acceptable to eat in the summer compared to a rich cream of whatever vegetable blend. So it was settled. This year I would make gazpacho. But it couldn’t be a bland, ordinary version. I needed something different, something vibrant that would push me over the wall into “I love gazpacho” territory. For my husband’s birthday we dined at Traif for the first time. After what seemed like hours to choose our selection of tapas-style small plates, we were greeted by a sake glass filled with icy strawberry gazpacho. It barely touched my lips and I knew. I was making this soup.
What I love most about Spring is the range of weather. You can leave in the morning with a thin sweater, strip down to a sleeveless shirt at lunch and still need a light jacket as evening draws near. Along with the variety of clothing options, it creates food options as well. I’m not very likely to sit down to a rich winter strew filled with root vegetables. More so because I’m sick of carrots and parsnips. But I love that I can still enjoy a bowl of soup when the evenings still have a bit of a chill, accompanied by a light salad.
I needed green garlic for a recent recipe. A whole tablespoon of it. If you’ve spent any time at the markets lately, you’re probably well aware that green garlic isn’t sold by the stalk, let alone the tablespoon. So to fulfill my needs I purchased a bunch, used a quarter a stalk and was left with the rest. Green garlic isn’t something I cook with too often. I generally wait for garlic scapes, or for the most part use the bulbs alone. When I read somewhere that sauteing it over low heat resulted a cross between a light garlic flavor and caramelized onions, I couldn’t think of anything better than to stick in a soup. Considering potato leek soup is such a great success, how could subbing green garlic not be equally as awesome?