For my birthday, back in November, one of the gifts from my boys was a meat grinder to attach to the KitchenAid that they gave me last year. This thing will grind meat, vegetables and even hunks of hard cheese – think Parmesan for pesto! I’m excited about that. So my husband has had this fantasy of recreating his grandmother’s meat buns. He’s talked about it for at least 20 years. I have no idea what he’s talking about, never having had a meat bun, nor did I grow up with knishes. So this was his project. I knew to get out of his way and spent the afternoon in my painting studio, working on a new canvas. He did, however, ask me to make a vegetable soup to complete our dinner.
Here he is grinding away. He used ground chuck and corned beef!
So I took out 4 cups of homemade chicken broth from the freezer and gathered a variety of vegetables from the fridge. I decided to oven roast the beauties first, to bring out their natural sweetness. Besides, I love making pretty arrangements on the baking sheet.
Look at this – so pretty!
And then at the very end, I threw in several handfuls of escarole. I LOVE escarole in soup, as long as it’s still bright green with a little crunch.
The meat buns, as Steve claims, were pretty good, not yet ready for prime time as they were not like his grandmother’s. So I’ll let him practice some more before turning over that recipe.
Do you have dishes from your grandmother that you long for?
After all the richness of holiday food, this soup can bring you to your senses with some good clean cooking. It is healthy deliciousness that will warm your innards and satisfy. To make, this soup was simple and quick. Can’t go wrong with that!
ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP – serves 4
4 cups of chicken broth, preferably homemade
4 plum tomatoes, cored and cut in half
3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 3” long pieces
2 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 3” long pieces
5 cremini mushrooms
Handful of green beans, cleaned
Handful of okra, cleaned and top ends trimmed
1 shallot, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise
1/2 of a red bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ strips
1/4 of a fennel bulb, cut into strips
2 stems of rosemary
3 stems of thyme
4 leaves of escarole, washed and cut into 1” ribbons
1 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Warm chicken broth in a medium sized saucepan.
Arrange all vegetables, except for the escarole and parsley on a baking sheet, along with herbs, drizzle on some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Roast until not quite fork tender, about 12 – 15 minutes. You may want to remove some vegetables before others.
On a cutting board, cut the vegetables into bite size pieces, and add to the chicken broth, scraping all the juices and olive oil into the soup as well. Discard the herbs. Taste and correct seasoning.
Warm everything until it’s nice and hot. About two minutes before serving, stir in the chopped escarole to wilt. Portion out into 4 bowls, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with LOVE!
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