The only way we know the difference between seasons is by counting tourists on Ocean Drive. The common dialogue:
“Snowbirds have arrived”
“Hey, it must be snowing up there!”
Together, in one voice: “Aren’t we lucky we live in Florida!”
And if it sounds a little unkind, to say the least, just hop into your car, leave your sweaters, coats, and boots behind, and start driving south. Florida is big, beautiful people, there is enough land for everybody! Some of it might be real close not only to flora, but also to our exciting fauna.
These two five-foot long guys came over to greet me as I was having an outdoors lunch in college before teaching a class. They begged for some poached salmon with spinach, but – sorry guys! – can’t feed you cooked human food. Contrary to all urban legends, no matter how big iguanas grow, they are stanch vegans.
Jokes aside, in my “seasonal” memories, it is still listed as Summer Soup. It could be served hot or cold, with a healthy dollop of sour cream – Tofutti for me! – and some fragrant fresh dill. While you are getting your ingredients ready, let the incomparable First Lady of Jazz and The Ambassador of Jazz bring Summertime into your kitchen.
To make this soup truly summery, you’ll need all fresh ingredients. I hope you’ve raided your local farm store or market and got these:
Young cabbage with the outer leaves still bright green. For two quarts of soup, you’ll need about a third of a head, shredded. To preserve the rest, peel off the outer leaves and wrap the remaining two thirds in them before wrapping it tightly in plastic. It only works with young cabbage, though.
Some of the vegetables will have to be prepared in advance. Carrots need to be grated, tomatoes diced, and I hope you have been saving beet juice whenever you have done something with beets. If not, fresh beets could be grated together with carrots. Fresh or fresh frozen corn and sweet peas – no cans for this soup, please. A couple of garlic cloves and dill, glorious dill! As I have mentioned in an earlier post (Colorful Lentil Soup), you can do it the long way or take a shortcut. The long way involves sauteing carrots with garlic and adding them to the rest of ingredients while the soup is cooking. I prefer to take a short cut – pareve consomme powder.
Just throw everything into a pot in no particular order, but hold on to dill. Fill the pot with water, bring it to boil and reduce heat. Now you can add soup powder and season with cinnamon, salt and pepper. Dill, chopped roughly, comes last. Gently mix, cover, and leave on medium heat.
Cook a few more minutes until cabbage and carrots are soft enough to your liking. We prefer veggies al dente, so I only cook it for a couple of minutes, and it’s done. Looks like summer and smells like a vegetable garden – yum! Where is my Tofutti?
- 1/3 head of cabbage or 4 packed cups, shredded
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup fresh sweet peas
- 1/2 cup diced tomato including juice
- 1/3 cup beet juice or 1/2 small beet, grated
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves
- Large handful of fresh dill, stems included, roughly chopped
- Alternative: Consomme powder
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all vegetables, including beet juice, into a two-quart pot, fill with water.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat.
- Add consomme powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Add dill.
- Cook on medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the cabbage and carrots soften.
- May be served hot or cold, garnished with sour cream and dill.