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!
vegetarian food cooking seaweed soup vegetable stock