Snow Day Luncheon: Slow, Hygge Recipes to Nourish and Heal in Winter (Collab with Miss Wondersmith!)
I had so much fun collaborating with Miss Wondersmith on a virtual winter meal. This is actually my first food-related collaboration! We shared a recipe with each other and then each prepared and photographed both. Our theme was slow winter nourishment, and I just love how magical and unique all of her recipes are. Her outlook on life is also, well, wonderful!
My recipe is Wild Winter Pickles and hers is Snow Day Soup...a match made in winter heaven.
This is why you need to be eating pickles in the wintertime:
Fermented foods like pickles are great this time of year because our life-essence or “jing” in Chinese medicine needs the most nourishment. One way to help is through diet, but all the healthy foods in the world won’t nourish us unless we have the gut flora to digest them! Fermented foods supply vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbable, are sources for unique, wild, and beneficial bacteria, stimulate the immune system, and are rich sources of living enzymes and nutrition.
SO much of the food we eat today is dead. Food from boxes and wrapped in plastic, heavily processed, homogenized, and modified - these foods might have detectable, measurable "nutrients" but once assimilated in the body, the nutrition is virtually useless. Our bodies don't recognize these fake foods as real foods no matter what the commercials and big agra tell us. Just notice how different you feel after eating, say, a homemade soup vs. preservative-rich soup from a box or can. Taking the time to prepare real, living and life-giving foods, well, takes time! But it's a choice I make because I honestly would not have the energy I need to parent or love or create without proper nourishment. Good, slow food is a baseline for health.
Here is what Miss Wondersmith has to say about her soup:
It's white truffle season here in the Pacific Northwest. And that's probably good, because it is also snow season, and white truffle pairs incredibly well with the sort of comfort-food flavors that sound amazing after a morning buried up to your waist in white fluff. It’s the season of simplicity and heartiness, of leaving space in your life for both rest and play. We’re still in the depths of winter but the days are growing longer once again and the snow-blanketed hills glow white, crisp, and beckoning. This delicious soup is both inspired by those white expanses and designed to give you the things you crave after a day in the snow. Classic comfort food is updated with zesty goat cheeses and white truffle oil, while a garnish of shaved cauliflower adds a delightful crunch.
A note on white truffles: these extremely flavorful fungi are found mostly in the winter months in the soil of coastal rainforests. They’ve been cultured in Europe for centuries, but can also be found in the wild here in the Pacific Northwest by using specially-trained dogs or ethical harvesting techniques. I made my own white truffle oil by grating fresh white truffles into high-quality olive oil and allowing it to infuse for a couple of days, but you can also purchase white truffle oil at specialty food stores. Be sure to verify that it’s made with real white truffles, as artificial truffle oil is quite common. (It’s still delicious but lacks some of the earthy complexity that makes the real thing so special.) With white truffle, a little goes a long ways and it pairs exceptionally with starchy or creamy foods (I love it on popcorn!) This cheesy and creamy potato soup is the perfect way to highlight its rich flavor.
And now, without further ado, the recipes:
Wild Winter Pickles
1 x 3" piece of kombu seaweed
veggies of choice (I like garlic, cauliflower, daikon radish, and more!)
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon sea salt
Boil water and sea salt and then let it cool.
Slice the vegetables and place with your 1 x 3" piece of kombu in a glass jar with the cool salt water.
Cover the jar securely and tightly with cheesecloth or muslin and keep in a cool, dry place for 3-4 days.
Refrigerate and enjoy a few pieces with each meal.
Now for the soup recipe:
Miss Wondersmith prepared a cheesy potato soup, and you can find her recipe on her blog.
I prepared a vegan version, so here is the recipe for that:
1 Tbs. cooking oil
½ yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 peeled and chopped potatoes
4 c. vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. Coconut or almond yogurt
A couple of cauliflower florets sliced into very thin slices and a couple florets chopped
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp miso paste
1-2 Tbs. white truffle-infused olive oil (add 1 first, then taste and add more if needed.)
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add the chopped cauliflower And cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant.
Add the potatoes, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. While still hot, stir in the yogurt, miso, and nutritional yeast. Stir in the white truffle oil.
Serve hot, and top with cauliflower florets.
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments! Enjoy your meal!