Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's the simple things

The snow is piled deep on the deck. A cold rain falls intermittently. It's only a matter of time until it turns to a thick coating of ice. But all is well here, because in addition to a perm and a haircut for Mom and fresh color and new highlights for me, we have:
Summer in a jar.

Mom canned this mixture at the end of the summer. It took her several days to accomplish all of the chopping but she was determined to use up some oversized green beans, the last of the summer tomatoes, the onions that wouldn't keep over winter and a few of the hundreds of carrots still in the garden.

I'll admit to being less than enthusiastic about the finished product. I'm kind of a purist when it comes to tomatoes: Whole, juice or Mom's home-canned creamy tomato soup. Period. I will add my own vegetables thankyouverymuch.

Until tonight. Tonight was special. Tonight I fell in love.

Earlier this afternoon, I looked through every one of my local cookbooks for a Snowmobile Soup recipe. I've eaten it in a local restaurant--and it's a richly flavored hamburger soup I think made popular being served by the local snowmobile clubs at the end of a long day of riding. It felt like a night for soup and I had picked up some fresh ground beef yesterday. Since I couldn't find any recipe for Snowmobile Soup, I came up with a "rogue" version.

I browned about a pound and a half of the ground beef with a shallot, then added two jars of "summer" and some finely diced potatoes. For seasoning, I added salt and pepper, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and a bay leaf. When the potatoes were cooked, I added a pint of Mom's home canned tomato soup. From start to finish was only about an hour and the soup was delicious. I warmed some home-baked dinner rolls to dunk in the soup. Ahhhh, bliss. 

Now I know the true meaning of the best of both worlds: While we're eating summer in a jar, here is the view from our living room window.


  1. That soup sounds terrific! I love soup and rolls in the winter. I'm making homemade Broccoli-Cheese soup and rolls today.

    ...And that hoarfrost (we've had a lot of it lately too) makes winter much more bearable. Breathtaking.

  2. It sure has been soup weather. I made a batch of Italian Sausage soup a few days ago. It was yummy but I wish I could have tried your version of Snowmobile/Summer in a Jar soup. It sounds delicious!

    We've had lovely hoarfrost at our house, too. It has been a beautiful winter!