Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cooking for Cold, Damp Weather

Squash, red pepper, and chicken soup.
The soup!
"Beloved by the British, this rich,
protein-filled dish is traditionally
made with a mashed-potato crust."
-- Epicurious
For dinner tonight, I made soup. I used chopped onion, cubed squash, most of a jar of red peppers, spices, and chicken broth. After browning onions, spices, and squash in butter, I added stock & peppers and simmered the pot until the squash was soft. Then I set aside around 2/3 of the vegetables and pureed the rest with my immersion blender. I put back the reserved vegetables and added chopped up meat from last night's roast chicken. Roasting meat in the oven, simmering soup on the stove -- good choices for cold nights.

I garnished the soup bowls with rings of fresh bell pepper, Greek yogurt, and parsley. And I served those little Trader Joe's gluten-free crackers which are good even if you don't have anything against gluten.

Earlier this week, I cooked lamb shanks in the slow cooker. Bloggers all around have been writing about slow cooker dishes this week: obviously this is the time of year when you want your house to fill with the aromatic steam that this wonderful device produces, whether you're making filling for enchiladas or sloppy Joes, a simmered roast beef, pulled pork, or a meat-and-vegetable stew.

After the lamb slow-cooked overnight until it fell off the bones, I chilled it and skimmed the fat. That evening we ate the resulting lamb stew by itself. The next time around, I made it into shepherd's pie -- with a mound of mashed potatoes in the center (see photo). There are lots of ways to make shepherd's pie -- with beef or lamb, with various vegetables, spiced to taste. Some say the beef version should be called "cottage pie." With lamb, it's an English favorite that links to my reading project featuring detective fiction by Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.

16 comments:

Tina said...

Ok, I think I want to come over and you can teach me all the ins and outs of cooking a lamb shank! The one experience I had wasn't great, the lamb wasn't tender but I didn't use a slow cooker. That's a brilliant idea and one I need to try.

We love Sheperds pie and lamb stew but I usually use minced lamb for o e and lamb chunks for the stew. Will put your method in my list to try next time.

Jeanie said...

That looks about as yummy as it comes! I'm doing crock pot chicken thighs today, I think. Got a new recipe from my cousin and it seems like a good idea!

~~louise~~ said...

Good morning Mae:)
Definitely soup weather around these parts too. I made Matzoh Ball Soup the other night at Marion's request. Since I have finally "mastered" floating Mazoh Balls, it's a request Marion has been making quite frequently:)

Your soup looks quite inviting. Love the addition of squash!

I haven't been as productive with the slow cooker as I proably should but, I'm thinking about making that chili recipe I saw over at Kitchn Riffs. The problem is, Marion has been protesting against spicy food, lol...

I sure wouldn't mind making those lamb shanks though, neither would she mind devouring them, as is or in Shepherd's Pie. I should see if I can find some around here. Not an easy feat!

As Soup Month and Slow Cooker Month come to a close, I don't think I'll stop serving soup and/or perhaps those lamb shanks:)

Thanks for sharing, Mae...

Tamara said...

We love lamb and this sounds pretty yummy. Thanks for the ideas Mae.

Beth F said...

Absolutely time for soup. I adore lamb shanks and have a couple in the freezer. Time to cook them!

Beth F said...

In re your comment on my post: Yes, I have that O'Keefe cookbook, which I love. The Fallingwater book seems somehow off, though. It was interesting to read but not a book I would turn to again.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

The slow cooker lamb shanks sounds perfect for the cold winter weather.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Love making soup!!!

Also have a great Guinness lamb shank recipe.

jama said...

Not a fan of lamb but that soup looks yummy!

bermudaonion said...

I love soup, even in warm weather. Yours looks creative and delicious!

Katherine P said...

Your soup looks delicious. I love the combination of chicken and red peppers. I've never really had lamb but I read a lot of Agatha Christie and lamb and cottage pie are frequently mentioned!

Vicki said...

Yum! I loved soup when I was a kid, but rarely ate it until a year or so ago. Now I'm loving it again.

Carole said...

Lovely cold weather dishes. It's high summer here so hot soup is not on the menu. Cheers from Carole's chatter

Carole said...

thanks for your visit Mae. Sadly our trip to France was in 2014.... we love France but it is a very long way from New Zealand! Cheers

Deb in Hawaii said...

Some perfect winter comfort food dishes for sure. I especially love the combination of ingredients in the soup. Yum!

Vicki said...

The soup sounds really good! I've never been a fan of lamb but haven't had it for many years so I guess I should try it again.