We were excited to head to the island yesterday for a little WestWard time. No guests this week-end, so a simple chèvre stuffed chicken breast, baked potato and a little Romanesco was on the menu. It has become a favorite veg–one for the taste but I also think they look cool, slightly other-worldly. And they are green! The grocery store had quite small versions, so I bought 2. Slathered them with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them whole in the oven while the chicken and potatoes cooked away. I put them on a sheet pan and began to roast them whole in a 400 degree oven. Towards the end of the cooking process they were not looking as cooked/golden as I wanted, so I split them in half, putting the core side down on the baking sheet, where I let them cook away for another 15 minutes. Just the right amount of time to give them that golden hue I was going for.
TPS was in the kitchen yesterday at WestWard doing the cooking, so I asked if he would be so kind to write his recipe of the above bowl. It was just so tasty I really wanted him to share it with you all.
One of our favorite traditions is making chicken stock, and we almost always have some in the freezer. When the cool air of Autumn comes on, we’re thinking of what Mr. Watson has dubbed “stoup” and nothing is a better base than homemade stock!
Stoup in the Watson Sive household is a hearty bowl of above stock, with whatever veggies and proteins we have on hand and are inspired by. It’s thicker than soup, but not quite stew. This version was inspired by kale TKW saw at the Pike Place Market on Saturday, and some sausages we had on-hand.
Defrost 2 quarts of stock and heat up while preparing fillings.
Coarsely chop one sweet onion and 1 cup of carrots.
Medium chop 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (tonight’s were the last of the oregano and thyme from our summer pots).
Julienne or tear into pieces (after cutting out the stems) one bunch of hearty kale.
Heat some olive oil in a heavy casserole or soup pot and cook up 4-6 sausages, until just barely cooked. Remove from heat and when cool chop into 1/3 inch chunks.
In the same heavy pan, add some olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots until they’re sweaty and just soft. Mid way through add the fresh herbs.
Add the stock to the onion, carrot and herb mixture and bring to low boil. Add 1 1/2 cans of drained white beans and the chopped sausage. Heat to low simmer; then add the kale and cook at a low simmer.
While the stoup is bubbling away, purée or mash the remaining 1/2 can of beans. Add to the stoup.
After 5 minutes or so turn up to a low boil and add 2 cups of dry egg noodles. Just before the noodles are done, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so.
Ladle into a big bowl, top with some grated Parmesan, and you’re set. A medium dark beer and some crusty country bread are great accompaniments.
(A note: I find one of the tricks to good soup is to not overcook. For example, in this recipe the onions and carrots and sausage will all continue to cook in the stoup, and while you want the flavors to mix, a light touch in cooking time keeps the component flavors fresh and bright.)
Soup on these chilly, rainy days/evenings can be such a comforting thing. If the soup is nice and hearty, even better. Our friends’ 10 year old daughter Clementine, who is like a niece to us, came up with a hearty soup I was dying to try. Sunday supper was this crazy good soup using 5 ingredients cooked up in one pot.
Cook 1 lb. sweet Italian ground sausage. Remove from the pot. Sauté 2 leeks that you have cut up into small pieces in the pot. Add back in sausage. Add chicken stock (2 boxes) plus 1 lb. of bite sized white sweet potatoes. Bring all to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Then add a bundle of chopped kale at the end. Done. Serve with crusty baguette. This will be now known in our house as Clementine soup.