Portland's weather has been a bit more reasonable (by our standards) this week, and it makes my thoughts turn to cooking. I tend to do much less cooking in the summer time, since I'm loath to pump any extra heat into my kitchen. I realize there are plenty of things you can cook without resorting to heat, but that takes some sort of forethought and planning, both of which I've had in short supply this summer.
One of my favorite cool weather dishes is soup, of just about any kind. Way more than my family wants to eat usually. My top favorite soups:
- Chowder, of just about any kind. Fish, clam, etc. My son's totally wild for clam chowder. I prefer cod chowder myself, with salt pork instead of bacon. Check out Jasper White's 50 Chowders.
- Caldo gallego (or caldo verde in Portugal). A fabulous soup of spicy sausage (linguisa or spanish chorizo is best, I often settle for andouille, since I have a good source) with potatoes, white beans and kale or other greens. I usually use a nice dark beef broth, and "dinosaur" or "lacinto" kale, which has very dark, long thin leaves.
- Gulyas (aka "goulash"). I like the Hungarian version, with little egg noodle dumplings and lots of paprika. There's another Hungarian soup that I almost like more that involves lots of smoked pork products and sauerkraut, but I can't think of the name right now. It's supposed to be a great hangover cure.
- Borscht. Love it. Especially with both beef and ham. And a really lot of beets. I also like to add apples and white beans, and lots of garlic.
- Pozole. A Mexican dish, often with pork, lots of hominy, and lots of toppings that you add as you like, such as lettuce, cheese, lime juice, tomatoes, avocados etc. Very tasty, and can be bland for those who like it plain, to jazzed up with extra ingredients for the more daring. There was a great little Mexican hamburger place down the street from my house that had great pozole. Unfortunately they closed, so I'm looking for a new source. I make it at home a fair amount too, since it'd dead simple. Use lots of Mexican oregano (not the Mediterranean kind).
- Kimchee and tofu soup. One of my favorites, with pork, and possibly white fish. Very tasty, and warming.
This isn't even taking into account bean dishes that might be soupy. I'll address them some other time. Mmmmmm, beans...