it is a fool’s (my) attempt to circumvent the looming and catastrophic weekend temperatures that will never delay nor dissipate such realities. often i shrug myself into the space between acceptance and negligence and call it la la land (a real location) – a kind of elated delirium where harshness is suspended but so is progress. what does all this mean? it’s cold as hell and there’s no escape.
the morning is punctuated with sharp winter air against my awakening skin, a fumble in the dark for a sweater, and the crash of my foot deep into the door jamb. a serving of breathy swears and the familiar company of swelling. to shake the event off is to come fully into consciousness. the winter does not murmur good morning on my pillow, she is awake before me, only to seduce me to my demise. it’s a good thing i love her.
inevitably i turn to soup – a genuine source of kindling to ignite our reflexes once more. it’s about this time in the year that we are concocting many pots of many things. the stove is a beating heartbeat in the kitchen that receives many anticipatory glances. my affinity for soup stems most notably from that fact that it encompasses all senses in a slow and steady swell – this is my favorite kind of cooking. the building of flavor, fancy or fundamental, and the delicious velocity of simple ingredients. and on top of it all soup is portable and communal, always meant to be shared. always a richness to soup making that allows me to catch my breath.
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 tbl chopped, fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large bunch of red chard, leaves and ribs chopped
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1 tsp toasted cumin seed
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 packed cup of arugula
- for the bread (adapted from Beatrice Ojakanjas):
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbl fresh italian parsley + more to top dough
- 1 tbl paprika (I used smoked)
- 1 1 / 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 / 2 cup water
- 1 / 3 cup olive oil + a little more for dough brushing
- flaky sea salt
- in a large stove pot combine, onion, ginger, garlic, red chard, wild rice, cumin, and water. stir to combine and bring mixture to a light boil (chard will wilt into water). cover and reduce to a medium simmer for 45 minutes.
- add the vegetable stock and chickpeas. right before serving add the arugula and stir to combine.
- to make the bread: preheat oven to 400 degrees with a large baking sheet inside. in a large bowl combine flour, parsley, paprika, baking powder, and salt. add water and olive oil and knead to incorporate and form a dough. if more liquid is needed, add more water slowly and in small amounts. cover dough with a towel for 15 minutes before working.
- divide dough into 3 different balls, keeping the unworked with covered until time to shape and bake. on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper roll out thinly, one ball of dough at a time. carefully remove sheet pan from oven and slide dough onto the surface. lightly brush with olive oil, add more parsley, and add flaked sea salt. bake for 7-10 minutes, until crisp. repeat for remaining two dough balls. cut bread into desired shapes and enjoy with soup.