The weatherman says these are the coldest days and nights in North Texas in a decade . . . it is cold, but contrary to all those walking around in big fur coats, fur hats and fur-lined boots, compared other parts of the country, it's really not as cold as all that ;-)
Nonetheless, it puts me in the mood for making soup. Yesterday, Melody Johnson blogged about making beef stock, at the bottom of this post. She used the phrase, "looks terrible, tastes delicious."
Today I made my standard vegetable stock using this recipe from the Recipezaar site. I was thinking that it tastes as beautiful as it looks . . . and better than any commercial stock I've ever tried.
I highly recommend the recipe. The most time-consuming part is the first step sautéing the onions until they are brown, almost black. Since those carmelized onions contribute a lot to the color of the final product, as well as the taste, it's well worth it to be patient. The good news is that while the onions are on, you can chop all the vegetables and herbs you'll be using: carrot, leak, parsnip, celery, celery root, parsley.
Unlike Melody's photos of her beef broth in-process, I think this looks quite beautiful in the pot:
Like Melody mentioned about her beef broth, once the stock is made, it's easy-peasy to make French onion soup. Or to roast a butternut squash, sauté some onions and blend it up with some stock and spices to make some sweet (without any sugar added), yummy butternut squash soup. With the 7 pints I now have in the fridge, I'm thinking the future soup possibilities are endless ;-)