Today, having been deemed A Day Off, if such a thing can exist in Realtor World, happens, interestingly, also to be the official arrival of the nesting season. It happens every year at this time, as certain signals surface.
First, I don’t awake until 7:30 am and, so sound was my sleep I have no memory of it. Next, I’m immediately aware that the overnight temperature dipped to the mid-50s, a solid sign of the shift into fall. Most notably, after my first cup of French press coffee, all thoughts turn to cooking. It’s still only 8:00 am. It matters not.
Garden, frig? Garden, frig? Where to start? Turns out, I have a plethora of veggies in the refrigerator so the nesting instinct whispers “vegggetable souuup.” White sweet corn, a bundle of asparagus, tons of carrots, celery hearts, on and on. I continue to discover new potatoes hiding just under the surface in the garden, and I have a wonderful assortment of heirloom tomatoes.
So, sweat the chopped onion, celery (with leaves), garlic and carrots. Add vegetable stock, sweet corn and red potatoes, quartered, and the secret ingredient, a rind of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, always tucked in the freezer.
Other veggies (asparagus tips, chopped stalks, peas, heirlooms) graduate into the stock according to their minimum cooking requirements. Add dried oregano, thyme and flat-leaf parsely (from the garden). Season with herbed salt and a little chili powder for depth.
Bright flavors, earthy stock. Vegetable soup. Another sign the nesting season is here.