Sunday, February 7, 2010
I think we all agree that blogging gives us a warm sense of friendship and community, to a greater degree than expected when we began putting our words on the internet for the world to see. I value the connections I've made through blogging, hearing your feedback, reading your wise thoughts, gaining inspiration from your projects, and having the chance to share experiences with people all over the world. I would love to get together for drinks with all of the friends I've made online, but thus far, I've only had a few chances to meet fellow bloggers in real life.
Most recently, I met up last month with Jay of Mystic Domestica, who happens to live in the same lovely neighborhood as me, and with Amber of the (sadly defunct!) All That You Have is Your Soul back during her fabulous trip to New York in November. Both times, as we filled each other in on our lives and discovered commonalities, it felt like catching up with an old friend, or making a fast new friend. These experiences happily confirmed that on the whole, my online relationships are grounded in reality, and are not just superficial exchanges that exist in the ether. What about you, readers, have you had the chance to meet any of your blogger friends?
Jay very generously brought a gift with her, a jar of her mother's homegrown "magic" beans, a beautiful assortment of colored limas and black-eyed peas. I was excited to cook them, but couldn't decide on the right preparation. I found my inspiration about a week later during dinner at The Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park. My appetizer was a luscious kale-lentil soup topped off with a poached egg.
So I subbed beans for lentils, added in the rest of my farro stash, didn't bother with chicken or vegetable stock in order to keep things simple, and used a stale hunk of parmesan rind that was sitting in the fridge as a flavor enhancer instead. Making soup in the crockpot is so easy, especially since I try to prep as much as possible the night before. And there is nothing better on a January day than coming home to a warm soup waiting for you. My egg poaching skills could still use some work. But the rich yolks, salty parmesan flavor, and creamy beans made a delicious meal out of a soup that sounds too crunchy-granola-healthy to be true. Thanks Jay!
Crockpot Farro, Kale, and Bean Soup with Poached Egg
1 cup farro
1 cup beans
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch kale
1 rind of parmesan or other hard cheese
crushed red pepper or other spices (optional)
The night before:
Place farro and beans in separate containers each amply covered in water to soak overnight.
Dice onion and garlic, and chop kale into chiffonade. Place chopped vegetables and cheese rind into crockpot stoneware and store in fridge overnight.
The next morning:
Remove crockpot from fridge. Drain and rinse beans in a colander. Drain farro. Add beans and farro to crockpot, along with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and other spices such as oregano or rosemary, to taste. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add water, filling to about one inch above ingredients. Cook on low for 7-10 hours while you are out at work or living life.
Just before dinner:
Ladle soup into bowls to let cool.
Meanwhile, poach one egg per person and add egg to top of each bowl to serve.
Makes four or five servings.