Saturday, February 28, 2015

"I have been, and always shall be, your fan" - Dill Pickle Soup

Today is Saturday, and based on the weather, it is what my grandmother-who-raised-me used to call a "mizzo" day.  It's one constant rain drizzle out there, and the skies are a sullen gray.  The electrician came to check out a few problems and gave us bad news. I keep repeating to myself, the house is almost 90 years old.  The plumbing, the electrical, the roof - it's always bad news.  Comes with the territory.

Anyway, that makes it a perfect day to (finally) prepare the Dill Pickle Soup.  No, really.  I know I've been promising for almost three weeks, but this time I mean it.  This is my recipe, inspired by the recipe created by Cathy Pollak for  Incidentally, I have no control over the rather weird text formatting.  Sorry about that.

1 stick butter, divided

1 bunch green onions, sliced thin, white and light green parts only (about 3/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 carrots, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small clove garlic, minced
kosher salt, white pepper
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 - 49 1/2 oz. can Swanson Natural Chicken Broth
3 large dill pickles, chopped (about 1 generous cup) - purchase a large jar of dill pickles, as you will also be using most of the pickle juice; I use Batampte, found in the refrigerator section.  Also, I like the pickles chopped fine, but you may like them not-so-fine.
1 cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
2 cups dill pickle juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, melt half of the stick of butter over medium high heat.  Add the green onions, celery, carrots, and garlic clove.  Season with a small amount of salt and white pepper to taste. Lower the heat to medium and sauté the vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are softened.

Add the potatoes, the remaining butter, and the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Do not overcook the potatoes.  Add the pickles and continue to boil for 10 more minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium.

Combine the sour cream, flour, and water, and then add 1 cup of the boiling soup liquid, and whisk together until smooth.  Gradually add this to the soup, whisking well after each addition.  Stir in the pickle juice, the Old Bay, white pepper and cayenne, then cook for another 5 minutes.  The pickle juice is pretty salty on it's own, so don't add any more salt until you taste the finished soup.  I like salty foods, and did not need to add any more at the end.

This soup is crazy good!  You've got to try it!

So let me segue back to yesterday's unfinished post.  Part of it was a list of dishes I have been thinking about making this weekend.  As I sit here, the dill pickle soup is done.  I have no chicken wings in the house, nor do I feel the need to sally forth in the rain to purchase them.  Not sure if the potato salad was a good idea, so I'm crossing it off the list.  I do want to make the brownies, but not until my back recovers from standing for over an hour while preparing the soup.  

And then there was the sentence which ended rather abruptly - "In some ways, it is a true shame that the public is essentially unaware of" - and which should have ended - "the quality and quantity of work done by the attorneys for the Department."  Confidentiality and ethics most often preclude me from going into too many details about my work, or what goes on in my courtroom, which is unfortunate.  Juvenile dependency court proceedings are sui generis.  I have practiced in a number of other areas, but I always come back to dependency.

And that's all I can say about that.

Finally, I just want to return to the passing of Leonard Nimoy yesterday.  This link will take you to the article in the Hollywood Reporter, which includes a long list of tweets and quotes from many celebrities, mourning his death.  If you are a Trek fan, you should recognize all of the references (Genesis planet, anyone?), and probably already had them come to mind.  The one I did not think of, which is the title of this post, came from Nathan Fillion, and I found that it was perfect.  Like Nathan, but that's another blog post.

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