Winter is retreating. Evenings stretch past seven here. But the cold is relentless.
Soup weather. So typical for March, and so not easy to return to after a week in Hawaii.
Luckily this recipe is warm and comforting and the perfect solution to a grey rainy day.
Well- the best solution, at least, that doesn’t involve me back on the beach with a margarita- but I suppose that goes without saying.
I'll be back soon with more photos from our trip. Have a good week, friends!
potato, leek, and fennel soup with chive crème fraîche
The original recipe over at Orangette calls for dilled crème fraîche, but I had a large handful of chives decorating the inside of my fridge, so I decided to use those instead. Whichever herb you choose, I doubt you can go wrong.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 ½ pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups chicken broth, plus more to taste
salt/pepper to taste
6 ounces crème fraîche
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or fresh herb of choice
In a heavy large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add fennel, leek, and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just starting to soften. This should take about 10 minutes or less. Add the potatoes and broth. Stir to combine then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer with pot partially covered until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. About 15 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender: puree the soup in a blender working in batches and taking care to never fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way full.
Return the pureed soup to the pot and rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring regularly and thinning with any extra broth until soup reaches desired consistency(optional). Season with salt.
In medium bowl, whisk together crème fraîche and 2-3 tablespoons of chives until well combined.
Divide soup between bowls. Serve with crème fraîche and garnish with remaining chives.
Jimmy and I are sneaking off to Hawaii this evening and I've got the ocean and the sky on my mind. We took the morning off to run errands and pack but we managed to enjoy some breakfast as well. Coffee and pancakes. Go get some.
whole wheat, oat flour, and buttermilk pancakes
I love the simplicity of the recipe because it gives you a chance to play around with the flours. I've made it before using buckwheat flour and almond flour and once using all oat flour. I'm much more likely to have rolled oats in my kitchen than oat flour, but it's simple to make. For this recipe just blitz 1/4 cup rolled oats in a food processor for a minute or two until it reaches a flour-like consistency.
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour (see note above)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine buttermilk, egg, and butter in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda until combined. Stir into the buttermilk mixture only until the dry ingredients are moistened but leave the lumps.
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium-low. Grease lightly. Spoon out desired amount per pancake ( I aim for 3 tablespoons or so). Cook until the edges slightly brown and a few bubbles form on top. Turn the pancake over and cook for another minute or so.
Keep pancakes warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve. These go great with maple syrup but I also love them with peanut butter or powdered sugar and jam.
recipe adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
This recipe is completely amazing. You start by caramelizing freshly squeezed orange juice and if that doesn’t already have you sold, you end up with an ice cream that is deep and complex and totally, totally fantastic.
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, from about 3 large oranges
¾ cup sugar, divided
½ cup strained fresh orange juice
4 large egg yolks (5 if you like your ice cream a bit more custard-like)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the milk, cream, and zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Just after it starts boiling, remove the pan from the heat, and let stand, covered, for about 30 minutes.
When the cream mixture has been sitting for about 10 minutes, begin to make the caramel by combining ½ cup sugar and the orange juice in another medium saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then boil, without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, until the syrup thickens and turns to a deep golden caramel.
Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully add ½ cup of the cream mixture and whisk until smooth. [Careful(!) with this step as it will bubble and steam. I recommend wearing an oven mitt with your pouring hand.] Continue whisking while you add the remaining cream in a steady stream. Cook caramel and cream mixture over low heat, whisking until the caramel has completely dissolved and everything is hot, then remove from heat and set aside for a moment.
Whisk together the egg yolks, remaining sugar (1/4 cup), and salt in a heat proof bowl. Slowly add the caramel/cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. It’s important to not let mixture boil.
Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the vanilla. Let mixture cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
Freeze in a ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
The days are getting just a little longer here. The evenings later. The cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom, green plants are starting to bud. It's still mostly cold. And grey. But for a little while on Saturday, there were blue skies. We walked to breakfast and explored Seward Park and drank wine while we watched the sun set from our back deck.