On this afternoon’s hike, I fell. My shoe slipped on a tree root, and down I went on my right knee, scraping the palm of my left hand and, inexplicably, bruising my left shoulder.
No emergency room visit was required, much less even one lousy Band-Aid. But it hurt, and it shook me up, and I needed comfort.
I needed soup.
“We only have onions and broth,” I said, a bit too dramatically, as I took inventory of our paltry produce, acting as though we were contestants on Dual Survival and our lives depended on this recipe.
“And quinoa,” Bertrand added. “Mushroom quinoa.” We had made our staple quinoa florentine a few days earlier.
“Mushroom quinoa, with cheese,”I pointed out. “Gross.” Yes, another overstatement, but what I was already concocting in my head had no room for cheese. Onions, broth and…herbs.
I headed out to the garden beds. Now, before you conjure up a Blue Hill Stone Barns situation, narrow that image exponentially to two wooden rectangles, approximately ten feet long, three feet wide, side by side next to a driveway. It being mid-December, they’re mostly full of dead, dried, weedy stuff that’s given up waiting to be pulled out. But, amid the brown reeds and sticks, a few hearty branches of sage and rosemary remain. Wait, what’s that green stuff over there? We have oregano? I forgot I’d planted oregano. Never used the oregano.
I swiped one of Bertrand’s apples, sliced it up, then added it in once the onion began to carmelize . In retrospect, the apple was a mistake. Apples are great in a squash soup, but this didn’t enhance the flavor when paired with a sole onion. The herbs added some flavor, though they, too, competed with each other and basically cancelled each other out. Next time, I’ll use just one. Finally, some wild rice and leftover black rice were stirred in for texture. I’m a big believer in solid soup.
The best part? After we each had a bowl, we took the leftover soup, chilled it, then poured it into a poultice and wrapped it around my bruised shoulder. The sage and rosemary did wonders.
I’m joking about that entire last paragraph. Aleve all the way, baby.
Apple Onion Soup with Garden Bed Survivors
- 2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 sprigs of chopped rosemary. Or sage. Or basil. Or oregano
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1/2 cup black forbidden rice
- salt to taste
In large dutch oven, heat oil at medium. Add onion and cook until translucent and softened, about ten minutes. Add wine, turn heat up to high, boil until wine has just about evaporated, about ten minutes. Add herb sprigs and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour. Add rice and stir until fully blended in. Salt to taste.