Friday, February 26, 2010

Bare feet, raw eggs, and garlic water

I let my children run around in the snow in their bare feet. Actually, I encourage it. I tell them, “Kids, go outside and run around in the snow. NO! Do NOT wear shoes! What are you, crazy?” And then, because they’re gaping at me, I have to explain, “It’s more fun without them, didn’t you know?”

The other night Yo-Yo and Miss Beccaboo ran out to collect the eggs in their bare feet, of their own volition. It appears I’ve trained them well.


They charged down the path to the pen, leaped inside, raided the nests, and plunged back out the door and up the path towards the house. As they got closer to the porch, they started yelling, “Open the door! Someone open the door!”


By the time they got on the porch they were shrieking, their voices edged with pain, “OPEN THE DOOR NOW! PLEASE OPENTHEDOORNOW! ”


My mom did the same bare-feet-in-snow thing to me when I was a lass. She only did it to me once, but I remember her dare that snowy night when I was about fifteen. I dare you to run around the house in your underwear! I took her up on it, but I don’t think I got anything from her for it, other than a fit of giggles. Goes to show I wasn’t a very smart lass.


(My mom had a thing for dares. She once dared our neighbor girl, a sweet child of about nine, to eat a raw egg. Mom said she’d pay her twenty-five cents if she did. The girl took the dare and got the quarter. [Come to think of it, the same girl said her mother wouldn’t let her and her brothers eat the apples we gave them for Halloween. We thought that was totally ridiculous considering we played at each others houses all the time, but in light of the egg incident, maybe she had a valid fear?]) (I sometimes feed my kids raw eggs, too, but I don’t give them money for eating them. In fact, they don’t know they’re eating them ‘cause I hide them in creamy fruit smoothies.)

On to other topics... like garlic and soup (rocky transition, no theme, so sorry.)


Oh yes, now I remember the connection between bare feet and snow and eggs. This soup has garlic in it and garlic is healthy. Some people say running around in the snow buck naked is healthy. (When I was a kid—before I was a lass—we had a neighbor, a doctor, who would steam himself in his sauna and then crack the ice in his pond and jump in. Naked, of course.) And some people say raw eggs are healthy. This soup I’m going to tell you about (when I finish with all the preambles) has lots of garlic and some eggs (only tempered, not fully cooked); it’s fabulously healthy for you. If you want to be fanatical about it, I suppose you could slurp it down while soaking your feet in a tub of snow, but as for me, I’ll eat it like a normal person, in a warm house with slippers on my feet.

***


I must tell you, Mr. Handsome was disgusted when he heard he was going to have garlic soup for supper. “Garlic water? You can’t be serious!” he pleaded.

But I was serious. “It’s soup, honey, soup,” I corrected him. “And it has chicken broth and cheese and is absolutely delicious, so just shush up, will you? Geesh.”

As he hesitatingly took his first bite of soup (he always tastes new food with a great show of hesitation which is totally ironic—one minute he praises me for being a gourmet cook and spoiling him rotten, and the next minute he acts like I’m out to kill him), a look of pained sheepishness crossed his face and I burst out laughing. This was no garlic-water soup and he knew it! I think I might have crowed.

***

I thought about this soup for a number of months before breaking down and making it. I thought it seemed complicated what with all the chopped garlic and herbs and the tempered eggs. But it’s not difficult at all; in fact, I’ve made it twice in the last week and it get’s easier each time. The next time I’ll probably be able to make it blind-folded.


Simply throw some herbs and chopped garlic in a pot of broth and give it a leisurely simmer. In a small bowl whisk together some eggs and cheese, add a bit of olive oil, and then, whisking steadily, add some of the hot broth. Whisk the egg mixture back into the broth, heat through, and—voila!—supper is served.


Don’t make the same mistake I did, hear? Please, hasten to the kitchen and whip yourself up a pot of this soup. It’ll keep you healthy, and it’s a lot more pleasurable than running around in the snow in your bare feet.


Creamy Garlic Soup
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

This may seem like a lot of garlic, and it is, but it does not overpower. However, if you have a shaky relationship with garlic, you can dial back the amount considerably and the soup will still be quite yummy—like a creamy, herbed chicken broth with a hint of garlic.

Heidi uses water in her soup, but I use chicken broth; I have tons of broth-filled jars rattling around in my freezer and I seize every possible opportunity to use them up. I think the chicken broth gives the soup depth, not to mention it adds all those wonderful chicken-y nutrients. Cluck-yum.

1 quart chicken broth
1 bay leaf
8-12 cloves garlic, minced, or ½ cup minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
14 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 egg
2 egg yolks
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
Crusty bread, dry (or buttered, or olive-oiled) toast, matzo pancakes, croutons, etc

Combine the broth, bay leaf, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks and cheese. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking steadily. Add about a cup of the hot broth, a little at a time, whisking steadily. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the pan of broth. Keep whisking. Heat through (do not boil). Check to correct seasonings.

Tear the crusty bread (or one of the other choices) into a bowl and ladle some soup over top. Sprinkle liberally with more Parmesan before devouring. (Or, more simply, serve the soup in a mug sans the bread, and consume via vigorous slurps.)

About one year ago: Butterscotch Ice Cream.

7 comments:

  1. We love this soup, too. If you are hesitating to try it, don't hesitate any longer. It's wonderful.

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  2. My kids go barefoot in the snow, too. It's more Shelby's influence than mine, but I think it's great. I remember challenging my brother to run around the house barefoot in the snow when we were kids . . . don't think we tried it in our underwear, though.
    --Jodi

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  3. You all are just crazy.

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  4. looks my southern calif. kids are missing out on lots of fun!/:

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  5. That soup looks/sounds delish! We love garlic and it is soooo good for you. Gotta try it now. (I, too, have those containers of chicken broth [also beef broth] rattling around in the freezer. Homemade broth makes any ol' soup taste loads better! And the nutritional value gained from cooking those bones can't be beat.)

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  6. I just made your soup for dinner and will be blogging about it tomorrow morning. I hope I survive.

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  7. In Kazakhstan (and probably other countries), people still do a sauna and then go outside and roll around in the snow. I've never tried it, though.

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