This is my last post about snow and cold weather, promise. Well, I'll try.
Today, in honor of my friends and family Up North shoveling snow, I made soup. Not just any soup but Alice's Vegetable Soup. This is comfort food to the max. Alice Moore cooked for my family, raised my brother, sister and me, sang to us, read Nancy Drew books with me, was an all-around good person. Not to mention the most fabulous baker of pies and homemade bread ever to wield a flour sifter. Fried chicken, fried okra, fried tomatoes, cornbread sizzling in a black iron cornbread stick pan (which I own but rarely use, a pound of butter not being at the top of my food groups)- she cooked them all.
But her soup is very healthy, very comforting, very warm. And you can pretty much throw the kitchen sink at it, vegetable-wise, and it always works. Alice used potatoes, but rice will also do. Even brown rice, though she's turning over in her grave as I type that B Word in front of rice.
For some reason, I came away with more of Alice's secret ingredients than my siblings did, but I'm always happy to share. So here's the secret ingredient in her Homemade Vegetable Soup. Remember, this was before the days of canned stock. She made her own beef stock with a soup bone and lots of onions and celery. I sometimes add canned stock, a short cut worth taking.
But Alice's final flavoring, maybe with a dash of Tabasco, was V-8 Juice. Great soup base for a cold rainy day when you need soup in a hurry.
And again, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Eudora Welty's EYE OF THE STORY.
To make a friend’s fine recipe is to celebrate her once more.
Related posts: Popeye's Biscuits
Stirring the Pot