Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Un-Turkey Stock

This morning, I knew that all over the country, people were tossing turkey carcasses into stockpots, along with some aromatic veggies, to make a batch of stock for leftover-turkey soup. I watched my mother do it every day-after-Thanksgiving during my childhood, and used to do it myself.

Today I had no turkey carcass, of course, but I wanted soup. So the super-spouse and I cut up some potatoes and carrots and celery and onions and put them all together in a big pot. We added some shiitake and chantarelle mushrooms, chard leaves and stems, garlic cloves. Seasonings included allspice berries, fresh rosemary sprigs, peppercorns, and half a lemon.

All this was submerged in lots of filtered water, then brought to a boil. I turned down the heat and simmered the lot for about 45 minutes, then strained out the veggies, pressing out as much liquid as I could. The yield of our minimal labors: a few quarts of this deliciously rich and beautifully brown stock, some of which is stowed away in the freezer for future use.

For tonight's healthy and warming repast, I put some of the stock in a saucepan, added cooked brown rice and cubes of tofu, and simmered for a few minutes. Just before serving, I added 2 sheets of nori seaweed snipped into little squares and a tablespoon of miso diluted with a bit of water. That's coarsely ground cayenne pepper sprinkled on top.

Said super-spouse and I found this humble Japanese country soup as satisfying as any meat- and noodle-laden concoction our mamas might have made.

Now it's official, you know. The holiday season has begun. I vow to not go crazy with it all, to keep my life and my cooking simple and wholesome. Unless I consciously decide to go crazy and cook something truly extravagant now and then. Which is likely.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 7:18 AM, Blogger Vanessa (of vanesscipes) said...

Mmmmm what a great idea! Making a pot of veggie stock sounds like a lot more fun than braving the holiday shopping crowds!

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is getting mighty cold here and that makes me crave soup. Thanks for posting this flavorful recipe!


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