Monday, November 10, 2008

S...S...What begins With "S?" Stew, Soup, and Sauvignon. S! S! S!

The weekend was busy--Tavo and I ended up working most of it. We painted his coworker's condo, and once again, I did not cook anything. We ate out, but nothing particularly noteworthy. So, tonight, after a quick trip to the grocery store (with coupons, I saved $12! This is only a $30 grocery trip, too) I was ready to cook.

Where do you go to my lovely ? - Peter Sarstedt

First things first, the Consumer Reports pick of good cheap wine, Lindeman's. I dig this wine--its a very consistent inexpensive wine, generally $6. Trader Joe's, while reasonably priced, is not as reliable.

and what goes better with red wine than some Tomato Zucchini Soup?

This is a slight alteration of Mollie Katzen's Spicy Tomato Soup from the original Moosewood.

Tomato-Zucchini Soup

1-2 T. Olive oil
1/2 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchinis, diced
1 t. salt (omit if using salted crushed tomatoes)
1 t. dill (or more)
ground black pepper
large can crushed tomatoes (Cento is the shit)
fill the can 2/3 with water, add that too.
Parsley, scallions, fresh tomatoes, cream--whatever you have on hand

Heat oil, add onion, garlic, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Keep heat low so as not to burn garlic.

Add can tomatoes, water, and dill. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Add fresh herbs and tomatoes, cream if desired. Heat through and serve.

While I was cooking, we hooked up the projector and played youtube videos of the Kinks, the Oblivions, Guided by Voices, Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Afghan Whigs, the Animals and Cat Stevens. Our buddy, JP, came by.

For Tavo, I made Paula Deen's "Old Time Beef Stew." Seriously, in the fall, is there anything better than a big bowl of thick stew and some fresh bread?
I didn't let the bread rise overnight, I just threw it in the oven right away. So, it's kind of flat. But, I'd let the starter sit out for 3 days--it was excellently sour!

I followed her recipe pretty closely, except I added some white wine, an extra cup of water, and 4 small peeled potatoes.


1-2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, minced (Tavo doesn't like big onion chunks)
4 small potatoes or 2 large, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt or 2 bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch


Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, celery, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.

And, how about a loaf of sourdough?


Darius T. Williams said...

that sourdough looks killer!

I love Paula Deen...she's almost like a disciple!

And that tomato soup looks killer too - I bet it's quick and easy!


doggybloggy said...

double barrel soup action - cool that I wont comment on Paula Deen - y'all

TavoLini said...

Darius--me too! There's something so reassuring about her liberal use of butter and oil and everything tasty :)

Doggy--not a fan of Paula? Yeah, it was a perfect night for cooking up a mess of soup.

jason said...

Your right about TJ's wine, not always reliable but when you find the good stuff it is like highway robbery! I enjoy it so much I chronicle my journey of searching for needles in the haystack via my blog. Here are my current favorites in Trader Joe's Wines. Enjoy!


TavoLini said...

Jason--awesome!! I've gotten a few lousy ones, but overall its more hit than miss. I'll have to check your list and try again!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'd say that's a lot of cooking to me! I've never heard of tomato zuccini soup. It looks good!

I really need to try sourdough bread one of these days, but that starter intimidates me!

Urban Vegan said...


the happy gentleman said...

you should post about your eatings out... hmmm...

Maggie said...

Love the soup! Even though it's a little heavy on the dairy there are some great basic recipes in the orginal Moosewood. I have to go get mine out now!

buffalodick said...

I want that soup!

TavoLini said...

Blonde Duck--it intimidated me for years! And all it is is just letting flour and water sit out on your counter for a week. Still, as evidenced in my blog, the actual bread is kind of hit and miss!

Urban--Thanks! I love the letter S!

HG--I would if it hadn't been so boring! Veggie burger, penne with marinara, and french fries :)

Maggie--I agree! I've got a few of her other books, but I seem to use the original most often.

Buff--come get it!

Anette said...

Yes, that is some heartwarming food! The stew.. mmmm! Flat bread can be lovely bread, especially made with sour dough!

Chef E said...

I will take the slice of butter with a piece of bread please...