Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving morning

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday:  it is the beginning of a long weekend; it's an opportunity to spend time with extended family; I get to cook, and cook, and cook; there's dark-meat turkey with gravy and stuffing, one of life's most perfect foods; and I don't have to send a single card or buy any gifts or feel compelled to decorate any part of my house.

It is bliss.

I'm not hosting dinner this year; Mom is.  The family decided a few weeks ago that the extended clan should get together this year.  We haven't done that in many years, and well, who knows who will or will not be around next year.  So, Mom's hosting, everyone is bringing something to dinner, and we'll have a great time.

My contribution is soup and pies.  The soup is a leek and root-vegetable soup (recipe follows).  I'll bake apple and pumpkin pies.

Leek and Root-Vegetable Soup

6 leeks, cleaned well, and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
4 Tb butter

Sauté leeks and onion in butter until well softened.  Salt & pepper to taste.

1 celeriac bulb
2 large yellow carrots
2 large orange carrots
2 parsnips
4 medium russet potatoes

The proportions of the vegetables are not critical.  As my grandmother would have said, "The more you put, the more you find."

Peel, clean, and chop the root vegetables.  Add to the sautéed leeks and onions.  Combine well, and add about 1 Tb salt & 1 tsp pepper.

8 cups chicken or turkey stock (I use homemade unsalted chicken stock.)

Add the stock to the vegetable mix.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium, and simmer until the root vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (easiest way) or in batches in a blender.  Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.

Warm up before serving.  If you want to enrich the soup a bit, you can add about 1/2 c heavy cream to it as you're warming it up.   A nice touch, but wholly unnecessary.  

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