Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's In A Name

I don't have any idea why Mario Batali calls this recipe Bread Soup. There is no bread in the actual soup, just grilled slices served on the side (I topped ours with cheese). No matter, it wasn't the bread in the title that caught my attention. It was farmwife. Farmwife's bread soup Batali called it, as if he was speaking directy to me. I am a sucker for recipes with rustic, cozy names. Grandma's layer cake, Sheepherder's bread, Farmwife bread soup . . . it's just recipe marketing but it always gets my attention. As I said, I am a sucker.
Tonight I fell for this quick recipe. Sliced onions (1) and chopped garlic (2 cloves) are sautéed in plenty of olive oil (1/3 cup) until soft but not colored. Next go in two peeled, chopped potatoes (I cut into about 1/2 in dice), then sea salt, crushed red peppers, and 2 cups of chopped beet greens. Though he wouldn't eat a beet on a dare, James loves the tasty greens. Everything in the pot sautés for a couple minutes and then go in 4 cups of water (Batali called for 2 but I don't see how that is possible) and a bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. The original recipe ends there and advises to serve the soup with grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top. I embellished and poached a few eggs in the simmering soup liquid. What farmwife, I reasoned, wouldn't have a few eggs around the kitchen? And, the yolks added a bit of richness to the otherwise slightly spare winter soup.

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