Dear Soup, Thank you for always reminding me there are better days ahead. Soups are mainstays around here, especially with snow on the ground and temps hovering in low twenties to single digits tonight, plus more cold on the horizon this week. And poison ivy. (Yup.) I've probably made six batches of this already this winter. It involves a food processor and a soup pot. That's it. Comes together in approximately five minutes and is satisfying, warm and delicious. Here's my take on this soup, which was originally inspired by this.
Here's how I made my Vegan Pasta e Fagioli:
6 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
1/2 onion sliced thin
2 bay leaves
1/2 head of cabbage
1 can of cannellini beans (drained, rinsed)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup ditalini pasta (cooked in separate pot, then added to soup just before serving)
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 qt. veggie stock
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Add chopped veggies--carrots, leeks, garlic to food processor, pulse about ten times. Prep the soup pot with the olive oil over medium heat, add chopped veg. Cook till just tender. Add remaining ingredients and broth and seasonings, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer two hours over low heat. Serve with a side of your best homemade bread. (Mine is Jim Lahey's --I made the ciabatta version).
After a visit with the folks at Urgent Care yesterday for a infernal outbreak of poison ivy, I am now awaiting an agonizing three weeks for this painful mess to clear up. Or longer. Why does Mother Earth require such an evil, toxic plant? What purpose does it serve? I've been struck by this havoc on only a handful of times in my life because I am so gawdawful afraid. Sounds impossible. But trust me when I tell you: only to me, the Master Gardener, and in winter no less. And above is the culprit.
Our home is undergoing a transformation of sorts in a few weeks which will finally rid us of these old railroad timbers and be replaced with a more substantial wall of stone. (That will hopefully outlive us and beyond.)
So I found myself outside on a warm-ish day earlier last week in a bit of a snit over the demise of some cherished plants I couldn't bear to lose. I've spent fifteen years tending and planting, so obviously there are plants I want to keep. Out with the shovel and buckets and pots. Everything's dormant, ground was soft, sun was out: perfect. Until later that night when I woke with what I imagined to be some sort of bug bite. Then to the next afternoon when my arm reached up to scratch my wrist (pulling the long sleeve back and discovering to my horror what really had happened). OMG. WTH? Could this be? . . . is this? Noooooo!
And then began the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, guilt, anger and bargaining, depression and loneliness to reconstruction (the UC visit) and finally acceptance. Yes, I accept that I have the rash of the spring and summertime, of gardeners, campers, hikers and landscapers, the poisonous fury of: Leaves of Three Let it Be! Ah, but what about the roots?
I had come in contact with said dormant plant--through the roots. I had oh-so carefully lifted plants and divided, setting each clump aside. Gloves and long sleeves. I have replayed this moment back through my mind a hundred times: as I reached under one of my plants, I, on an exposed part of my wrist must have come in contact with the worst plant root on the planet, unbeknownst to me.
I am more allergic than most and so, this lovely little visitor and its prescribed remedy dosed out (the horrid steroid treatment) is, well. . . It's hell. The rash has traveled from my left wrist, up my right arm, to my abdomen, and leg. There's a perfect dot-to-dot landscape you can follow if you wanted. I can see the entry at every point. It's like an incredibly cruel irony and one I will face with tears, determination, agitation and regret. As for the remainder of the plants. They'll be destined for demolition.