Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My plan is this ...

Two things happened this week dear readers (well, three if you count the F1, it was wet, we'll stick to two).

One, I got a badass new camera (thank you kickass family)! !!!!!! (feel divulgence of newly acquired badass new camera deserves exclamation points in their own right) and am super stoked about it (see copious exclamation points above for proof) and can't wait to take lots of pictures and to share them with you, dear readers!

Two, more rain. Seriously. I risk redundancy with this already but it is not stopping. My herbs and vegetables have that "droopy shoulder" look about them and my sprouts lean over with little green bodies toppled by the weight of big rain drops. I shake them off a little (some more gingerly than others) and try to perk them up with a "fist in the air come on you can do it" but there is only so much I can do. The little guys (and me) need sun (I may attempt sun dance later ...gotta look that up ...ahem ...).

More rain ...

The little guys need sun ...they are trying so hard to come out ...

My heart dear readers, dreams of Pugliese broad bean puree with boiled chicory and Fresh green pea soup with sardines and Zuppa di cece sedano (aka Fresh chickpea and celery soup) and Baby romaine Caesar salad with homemade organic egg yolk and anchovy dressing and Lemon and Feta dip and...well...lots of other fresh, beautiful spring/summer dishes.

My body, and the "freezing" 14 degree rainy, windy, blah (or cozy depending on the day dear readers, you know how it is) weather outside, however, have different dreams. They dream of Fennel soup with coppa and goat's cheese crust and Maccheroni alla chittara con ragu d'agnello (aka Guitar pasta with a lamb ragu) and Fettuccine with beetroot and nettle butter and Lamb orzo and Fontina, pecorino and leek soup.

So what does one do when hearts and bodies collide (has the makings of a dramatic love song yes?)? How will these conflicting sides unite? And what about you, you ask? You who have just been been reading tantalizing titles, some in foreign languages! What say you about that, you say?! I have a plan dear readers.

My plan is this:

Rainy week (aka this week), I am giving in to body; next week, to heart (they are calling for sunshine! they'd better be right..) As for you, dear readers, I am going to shower you with lovely recipes. Warming ones, cooling ones, all beautiful, elegant and super yummy. And when I am done with all of that, I am going to tell you a little secret about mushrooms.

Voila, le premier.

Time to dish.

Fontina, pecorino and leek soup

Here is what you need:

  • Butter, of course, 50 grams.
  • Olive oil, two tablespoons.
  • Garlic, four cloves, finely minced.
  • Dirty leeks, three of them, sliced.
  • Homemade chicken stock, four cups.
  • Thick slices of crusty old bread, four.
  • Fontina and Pecorino, sliced and grated, 160 grams each (I added blue cheese as well 'cause that's how I roll).
  • Fresh oregano (not droopy, hopefully there is sun where you are, eeesh)
  • Cracked pepper.

Here is what to do:
  1. Melt your butter and add your oil in a saucepan. Add the leeks and stir occasionally until lusciously soft and glistening in butter with juuust about to caramelize signs. Then add your minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Once that lovely garlic smell wafts your way, add your stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, grill your bread, both sides please. Rub a little with fresh garlic and drizzle with your best olive oil. Top with the Fontina (and blue) and Pecorino and grill until beautifully golden and bubbling.
  3. Now, presentation. Divide your lovely soup into even more lovely bowls (we must take pleasure from our vessels) top with beautifully golden, bubbling toasts. Add fresh oregano, cracked pepper. Cozy up and enjoy.


  1. I think you sun dance worked, been gorgeous the last 2 days! That soup looks awesome (but to warm to eat now lol). I want the mushroom secret!

  2. Oana, why don't Chicago and Montreal trade weather for a week? It's been inhumanly hot in Chicago. I broke down and bought an air conditioner last week. I would love a cool 14 degrees. It's better for baking with butter anyway!

    Soup will have to wait, but I'll bookmark this for cooler weather. Is there any way that I can get away with something other than home-made chicken stock? There's that pesky vegetarianism again. I'm sure home-made chicken stock would be great and well worth the effort, but I've never mastered vegetable stock worth making...confession: I almost always use bouillon. And I can see how good stock would be important with so few ingredients...

    Congrats on the new camera. Can't wait for more pictures!

  3. @ CEE - Messing with my food Chi this summer is. Oanayoda.

  4. @ Katie - Crazy. We've resisted buying an air conditioner for years. It helps that the house is brick and high ceilings but let me tell you, we've come close. I have a vegetable stock that is amazing. Cucina Italiana did and issue on broth and it's from there. I'll try to find it and post. I was shocked at the flavor. Thanks!

  5. @ CEE - I forgot :) Mushroom secret, soon. Soon.

  6. Oana, I'd love to have a good vegetable broth recipe on hand. Do post it when you find it!

  7. I can vouch for the soup. It was da bomb!