Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Weirdly Cool

I try as much as possible to be open to the confluence of ingredients, influences, and the day in question when making dinner; the best examples of my cooking seem to reflect all three in equal measure and still remain original, nourishing, and yummy. Tonight was a decent example. Our friend Leanne emailed to thank us for the giant zucchini we gave them yesterday and said she had made fritters- latkes of sorts- with potatoes and the squash in question. Remembering John's soup from a year ago, and having the smoked chicken bones on hand, I thus triangulated a meal I hoped would reflect all of the above plus the wet, cool day and our passage through it.

First, the chicken bones made a lovely, smoky broth. I chopped the zucchini, some garlic, shiso, and cilantro and let them sit until the broth was ready to strain. All then cooked for about 2 hours with a handful of pine nuts until very soft, then the stick blender made a smooth, velvety soup. I had planned to crumble feta on top, and it would have been great, but we'll have to try it tomorrow since it was rich and creamy enough- especially with a dribble of truffle oil. While the soup was cooking, Yukon gold potatoes and a Chioggia beet, shredded in the food processor, plus an egg and a bit of seasoning became summer latkes, garnished with the last jar of the homemade applesauce from last fall. As we finally enter the blessed period of local fruit, it seemed fitting to use it up and make room for this year's bounty.

I opened a 2001 Guigal white Hermitage to go with all these subtle yet wide-ranging flavors; it did pretty well but ultimately a riesling might have been better. The soup is a tricky match. Today also saw the planting of cabbage, collards, and turnips in the garden for fall crops.

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