Tuesday, March 20, 2012


There was a moment in between applying for various volunteer and intern positions this morning where I considered my favorite kinds of foods. 

Morri considering food, you say to yourself, is nothing new

I know.

Morri thinks about food all the time, you continue, whether it is recipes, cookbooks, philosophy, or future endeavors regarding the restaurant business or a non-profit organization. 

I know.

It’s nothing new, you conclude. 

I know.

So on this rainy morning, while considering the option to replace today’s running with Monday’s workout, I take a breather before resuming another search on idealist.org, and flashback to a conversation I had with Mama Dazz.

Photos of Community Gardening, 2009

I have a taste for the simple and the holistic, and that shows through the meals I make. Stews, one-pot wonders, and bowlfuls of everything-but-the-kitchen sink are my area of expertise. I yearn for comfort, for days of leftovers, and for food sources that don’t drain your bank account. These are the recipes that I enjoy sharing, and they are the ones I am the most proud of.

But I want to take it a step further, to show people the significant difference food from the backyard garden can make in a recipe, and to learn how to be a leader in the movement toward sustainable development in the community. I want to document all of the wonderful contributions being made by the unsung heroes of the movement, and I want to be part of it, either as a volunteer, a post-graduate intern, or having a decision-making position in the cause.

Mushroom picking in Sweden, 2010

I’m tired of waiting around for the world to give me heading; it’s time I got my hands in the soil and did something to change the way people look at food. I have to be the change I wish to see in the world, and it's time I prove it.

As mentioned before, I have a penchant for bubbling stews and soups on the stove, filling the house with enticing aromas and warmth only a well-used kitchen provides. There is one soup that I am always in the mood for, and I needed to work with what I had.

Onion soup is an amazing kind of recipe. I searched for different kinds of onion soup, but the French version is the most popular, if not the only one out there. It has everything one could ever ask for in the attempt to using up whatever is lying around: onions, leftover beef stock, stale bread, and cheese you haven’t used up yet. It is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup, rich and dense, with essentially all of the main food groups provided. So to no offense of the French, since I have the privilege of knowing quite a few amazing people from the country, I made my own kind of onion soup, something lighter and with a homemade chicken stock base. What’s so marvelous about this recipe is that you essentially have two meals: the onion soup and the chicken and veggies for another day. (You can also place the meats and veggies from the stock at the bottom for additional nutrition.) I made skillet cornbread, modifying the ingredients but otherwise made the same way as I usually do.

Onion Soup in a Homemade Chicken Broth

For the Homemade Chicken Broth:
2 qt. Water
30 ml Unrefined apple cider vinegar
450 g Chicken thigh meat*
6 Garlic cloves, whole
85 g Leeks, coarsely sliced
4 (156 g) Carrots, whole
2 (76 g) Celery hearts (preferably the innermost hearts**), whole

Combine all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker or large pot on medium-high heat until the meat and vegetables have softened (to the point of falling apart) and the liquid has colored slightly.
Remove the chicken and vegetables and set the broth aside.

For the Onion Soup:

Homemade chicken broth, recipe above
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Cracked pepper
30 ml Coconut oil
3 White onions, halved and thinly sliced horizontally
3 Red onions, halved and thinly sliced horizontally

Gouda cheese, finely grated as garnish

In a large flat-bottomed skillet pan or pot on medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil and cook the onions until translucent and caramelized (be careful not to burn).
Transfer the onions to the broth and add the remaining ingredients, cooking on medium heat for thirty minutes to and hour (I let it simmer while preparing the cornbread).
Pour the soup in up to six bowls, garnish with the desire amount of Gouda cheese, and serve hot with a side of cornbread***.

Yields 6 servings.

*This is what I had on hand, but you are welcome to use whatever parts of the chicken (or any meat) are accessible to you.
**You can use whichever part of the celery, but the innermost heart stalks are the ones I noticed people don’t eat raw, and thus perfect to use in soups.

***Goat milk Cornbread

240 g Masa flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
240 ml Water
240 ml Goat milk
2 Large eggs
42 g (3 tbsp.) butter
50 g Unsweetened applesauce

For instructions, click here.

Makes 1 batch and 8 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment