Thursday, January 8, 2015

Onion Potato Soup


I just couldn't go one more day without blogging. It's been since October.

OCTOBER.


I have had my fair share of reasons. Reason #1 happened the week of Halloween. I had Paul take a picture to remind me to keep my priorities in check.


Yep, that's me! Right in the middle of class on a Tuesday afternoon I couldn't catch my breath. I thought I was congested from a slight head cold, but I just couldn't catch it. I pulled my friend Bridgette, who is a super awesome kick-ass nurse and teacher, into the hallway where I proceeded to have a full blown panic attack. My first one ever. Hyperventilation, buzzing limbs, dizziness, inability to walk, the list goes on. I finally had the experience of having several Baptists lay their hands on me and pray and I don't remember a word anyone said. I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time, fainted for the first time, so many firsts! 

About a week later I found myself back in the hospital with a bacterial infection. The treatment involved a scalpel, shock, and lots of drugs that made me sleep. Possibly the worst physical experience of my life, but my doctor was amazing and my mom was there to nurse me when Paul had to be away for work. I am the luckiest of ducks.

I lost about 3 weeks of class time to crazy health issues and when it comes down to it my goal is not to be a full-time food blogger. I want to be a part of a caring ministry in a hospital or clinical setting and I want to be as equipped as I can be to do that ministry well.

School > Blogging.

I caught up at school and finished the semester on time. I caught up at work and ran all my Advent and Christmas events pretty successfully. But both blogging and, to be honest, cooking took a back seat.

NOT ANY MORE! 

I can't promise myself or anyone else that I will be posting regularly, but I have spent the past few days making new dishes and really enjoying creating good food again. It's going to be a tough semester, a tough week next week when I'm in an intensive class on counseling people and families with addiction, and I need to fuel my body in a loving way.



This soup is pure love. It's so simple, so hearty, and so flavorful. It's comfort food that nourishes. It doesn't get much better than that. 

I've been playing with one of Mollie Katzen's cookbooks because I think her recipes are ones you make when you want to be good to yourself, and this is my version of her soup. I've made it a couple of times in the past week and gotten brilliant feedback from several of our friends.

Onion Potato Soup
adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook
Yield: 4-6 servings / Time: About an hour

Ingredients

  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 fist sized golden potatoes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seed
  • 4 cups of water
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

(TIP: To keep from crying when chopping onions for this recipe I use the slicing blade on my food processor. It takes a fraction of the time to do the prep work and I'm not spending extra time dancing in and out of the kitchen, tears and mascara streaming down my face, trying to avoid and recover from the onion fumes. Also handy for slicing potatoes quickly.)

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the onions and 1 tsp of salt and toss, then cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you let your onions brown, your soup will be more brown in color, if you don't it will be whiter. Both delicious.)

When your onions are super soft and there are lots of yummy brown bits, add the fennel, potatoes, caraway seed, and another 1/2 tsp of salt. Toss well and cover to cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring every so often.

Add the water, stir well, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover pot, and let cook another 20 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper.

You can garnish this with the feathery bits at the top of the fennel, but it doesn't need anything else. Enjoy it while it's piping hot, you might not have any leftovers!


Remember that you only have this one life. Be kind to yourself and to others, and remember to slow down. We aren't supposed to do it all all by ourselves. I'm so grateful for my family, friends, classmates, and coworkers, and for you for reading.

Have a wonderful new year. I'll see you soon.