The holiday season is over and winter is definitely here, so what better way to usher in 2011 than with healthy, hearty, comforting soups. My father's favorite was my mother's bean & barley soup. He said it "put hair on your chest", which, frankly freaked me and my sister out.
Soup and especially meaty soup has been on my mind since my visit to Toronto and, more particularly Nortown Butchers and my very favorite soup meat - flanken or short ribs, staring back at me from the the case. The ones above are really for marinating and grilling, but cut about 1" thick, they are perfect for soups & stews.
On returning back to Halifax, I momentarily forgot my obsession with flanken. I went to the Seaport Farmers Market looking for scallops, baguettes and winter greens. It was the Wednesday before New Year's Eve... and it was quite quiet. Not much fresh fish... I was hoping for scallops but the bad weather meant the boats wouldn't be out until January. The bread folks Julien's Bakery were taking the day off, too... but Chris & Leonie de Waal of Getaway Farm were manning the fort and, although I was too late for beautiful roasts and steaks, these two beauties - beef shanks, caught my eye and brought me back to dreams of hearty soups. Even without the short ribs I found at the bottom of my freezer, they would have made a perfect base.
And flipping through a great cookbook I've written about before - Kitchen Sense I came across a soup I had to make my own... Mushroom, Beef, Barley & Lentil Soup. Just the smell of it cooking, took me to a Zen place.
So my New Year's wish for everyone... may your "Zen" place be always at hand. And if you need a little help, try the soup! I'm sharing it with Hearth & Soul
You can find out how to share your hearth & soul stories & recipes from the wonderful moderators - GirliChef, Hunger & Thirst, Frugality & Crunchiness,