Well, it was as wintry as it gets this past week in L.A. so the soups and stews were finally just right. Below, there’s a recipe for a VEGETABLE SOUP STOCK. Especially if you don’t compost, this is a great way to put to use those parts of the vegetable that we typically throw away: peelings, stems, carrot tops, the green parts of leeks, etc. Stored in the freezer, you then have it on hand to add flavor and vitamins to most any soup or stew.
I’ve made the stock twice now and used it in KIND OF LIKE CAMPBELL’S VEGETABLE SOUP (RMRF 5) and then in BARLEY AND LENTIL SOUP WITH SWISS CHARD. Brought this soup to a gathering of girlfriends on a rainy night and it was enjoyed by all (especially with deviled eggs on the side and apple pie for dessert! – a bizarre but happily potluck dinner).
Next, I’m including a recipe for BEEF STEW WITH POTATOES AND CARROTS. This is of course a hearty traditional winter meal, but we discovered a local cattle rancher this year at the Virginia Park Saturday Farmer’s Market that is selling grass-fed-only beef at quite reasonable prices (J & J Grass-fed Beef www.rangelandbeef.com and I just saw online that they’re at the Beverly Hills Sunday market and the Culver City Tuesday market). We’d tried his hamburger, steak and roast – all just a different experience than corn fed beef both health- and taste-wise -- so I decided to try some of his stew beef as well. Simple, hearty, clean recipe. Morgan and James liked it.
Finally, a recipe that got to Audrey. She has eaten these twice now (but still claims that she doesn’t like it, of course:) SPINACH AND FETA TURNOVERS. We’ve been eating spanikopita, purchased frozen from Whole Foods and TJ’s for years, but I decided to try and cook this kid-friendly food ourselves. Kids loved helping (sautéing, pinching and egg washing especially). Morgan loved it as a lunchbox meal and they heat up well for leftovers at home, too. We happened to have this amazing Savoy Spinach – an heirloom variety from the FM – but any spinach will do. Not frozen, though, you lose too much flavor if you don’t sauté it with the shallots and garlic.