Hello from within the depths of soup season, where Summer-Sickness (I’ve heard it called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” as well) has me in its clutches!
What I would give for a plate of salty, slippery sliced tomatoes right now! Oh!
The sun goes down well before dinner is on the table, taking with it my magic hour for striking food photos. And I’ve fallen on a repetitive cycle of comfort foods, designed to make life easier if less adventurous. Sesame Chicken; Red Curry Tofu; Baked Chicken, Cous Cous, and Brussel Sprouts; Spaghetti with Clams; Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Cauliflower; Tacos, Tacos, Tacos.
Oh and then there were the holidays. I can barely survive them, let alone blog about them. They were splendid, but nothing to see here, folks.
But a recent trip to Rappahanock with my beloved “Mom Gang” inspired my face off, and voila, there’s a new soup in my life. We’re going to be together forever, I can tell.
The entire experience was fantastic (a table full of ‘new’ moms will always be the easiest to please,) but the show-stealer was this Rockfish and Oyster Bourride. Fennel and Potatoes in a gorgeous, aromatic broth, with Rappahanock’s own oysters and a whole heap of rockfish. And then there was a piece of grilled bread keeping a perfectly poached egg floating atop the whole affair. Pop that yolk! Bourride! Amazing!
What it inspired was similar in concept – a brothy soup with wonderfully soupy winter veggies, topped with grilled bread and a poached egg. This particular soup was influenced largely by (read: is the same as) 101 Cookbooks’ Rustic Cabbage Soup because it’s a soup I already loved that was just begging for someone to “Put an egg on it” (the culinary equivalent of “Put a bird on it.“)
Cabbage, Potato, and White Bean Soup (with an egg!)
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 pound Fingerling Potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 quart Chicken Stock
1 1/2 cups Cannelini Beans, pre-cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 slices Bread, crusty
4 Eggs, poached*
Heat a couple hearty glugs of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot on medium high heat. Add potatoes and some salt, and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and garlic, and continue to cook for another few minutes. Add cabbage, and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or so more, and then add the stock and beans and stir again. Taste the stock for a preliminary idea of seasoning and adjust. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. You may need to add more stock or water (and then more salt/pepper,) depending on the volume of your other ingredients, so adjust as necessary.
While the soup is simmering, brush bread with some olive oil, and throw it on a preheated grill pan. Put that poached egg on it, and you are looking at a soup that eats like a meal, and the most important meal at that…brunch.
* I believe that this is exactly how you poach an egg.