Sunday, January 26, 2014
"The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark."

- from "January", by John Updike

There isn't much that's new to write about these days. It's still cold. It's still snowing.

It's still January.

It's inconceivable that we aren't at least a month further into the winter. Surely I've already done a full season's worth of shovelling, of scraping ice off my car, of walking with my shoulders up to my ears in a futile attempt to stay warm.

It's still January.

I do what I can to defy the weather. If I'm walking with my ears up to my shoulders, at least I'm still walking. I take some comfort from William Carlos Williams' tribute to the month:

"Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
outside my window:
Play louder.
You will not succeed. I am
bound more to my sentences
the more you batter at me
to follow you.
And the wind,
as before, fingers perfectly
its derisive music."

- "January", by William Carlos Williams

Perhaps most pertinent to this cooking blog is Maurice Sendak's take on the month:

"In January it's so nice,
While slipping on the sliding ice,
To sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Sipping once, sipping twice,
Sipping chicken soup with rice."

- "Chicken Soup with Rice", by Maurice Sendak

On those days when I feel bookended between dark and dark, when I have to summon the strength to shake my fist at winter, there's nothing I want more than to make soup. You'll find my Chicken Soup with Rice recipe here; read on to find out how I defied winter this week with a bowl of Vegetable Beef Noodle Soup.

Vegetable Beef Noodle Soup
(from Canadian Living)

1 pound (450 grams) stewing beef cubes
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups sodium-reduced beef broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup large curly egg noodles
1/2 frozen peas
3 cups baby spinach

Sprinkle beef with pepper and salt. In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in carrots, celery, onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes.

Stir in broth, 3 cups water, tomato paste, herbes de Provence and vinegar. Bring to boil; reduce heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until beef is tender, about 2 hours.

Stir in noodles and peas. Cook over medium heat until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach.


Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Egg noodles and peas - this is perfect! It's been very cold here this Winter, this would help fix that!

Angie's Recipes said...

The soup looks warming and delicious, Beth. Perfect for January.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Soup is great on these cold winter days. Wish I could be more excited it's winter. I just want this frigid weather over.

Joanne said...

Haha, yes I think Maurice Sendak definitely got it right! And so did you with this soup!

Anonymous said...

I am not even going to rub this in but it was sunny and 70 degrees this last weekend in Hong Kong. I am sure by next month I will be melting in the heat. I love a good hearty soup and yours looks delicious!

Beth said...

Sigh. Hong Kong sounds lovely, Bam. Lucky you!

Unknown said...

Nice, very nice dish...making me feel warm just looking at it. Lovely...and so is the little poem about short January days...:) ela

Crystal Collier said...

How dare you tantalize me with such tastiness? I love those poems, but winter? Not so much. Florida has been cold the last two weeks, and I'm seriously ready to crank the heater to 80. Of course, the month of perfect weather is only a week away, so I can survive until February.

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Oh, I love the little poem by Maurice Sendak! How lovely and perfect for this time of year. And this is the perfect soup for such sipping. =)

vanillasugarblog said...

Today I noticed that it was quarter of 5 and the sun was still with us.
This made me so happy; spring is coming.
And I think by the end of Feb the sun will be setting at 5:30pm.

Unknown said...

What a yummy soup. We're expecting a bunch of snow tomorrow. It would be PERFECT!!

Belinda said...

Oh, Sendak! This is one hearty soup!!

Cathleen said...

I am loving this soup right now! I'm really cold, and I would welcome this

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, Oh, yes winter is making its self known this year. There is nothing timid about winter this year.
Another very cold week and yes, these winds have howled all weekend long.
The nice hot soup is comforting, healthy and delicious. I love soup too.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Juliana said...

Such a nice and comforting beef soup Beth...I love everything in it...yum!
Have a wonderful week ahead :D

grace said...

vegetable beef soup is something that brings me more comfort than even chicken noodle soup--it's my mom's go-to dinner on a chilly night.

Katerina said...

Today is rainy and still cold here. This is the perfect soup for this weather!

Barbara said...

My kids always loved Chicken Soup with Rice! They knew it by heart.
Nice warming soup, Beth!

Anonymous said...

Perfect quote for this soup!

CQUEK said...

You certainly made tempting and delicious soup

nancy at good food matters said...

Hi Beth, For some reason, this January has felt Very Long to me, too. Maybe the much colder than usual weather accounts for that. But, remember, the daylight hours are (slowly) lengthening. We are almost to February. Love these poems---especially the Updike. To soup and staying warm...

Kitchen Riffs said...

Boy, my back sure feels like I've done a full season's worth of snow shoveling! Enough, already. ;-) But this soup certainly would hit the spot after being outdoors. Really nice -- thanks.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Isn't soup the perfect winter dish! "Between the dark and dark"--love it!

Daniela Grimburg said...

Hope the weather will get better soon, it's such a harsh winter this year.
Love the beautiful quotations, very well chosen.
This soup is real comfort food at its best!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I think I've done at least a winter's worth of shivering!!! Your soup would bring me a lot of warmth and comfort, though...I need to add it to my menu!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, I hope that the weather will get better/warmer soon - it seems to be a particularly harsh winter this year! Love all your lovingly selected quotes - Maurice Sendak (and the famous Chicken Noodle Soup with Rice) is one of our favorite authors too. And the recipe for the Vegetable Beef Noodle Soup sounds like comfort food at its best!
Stay warm and safe!

Julia said...

This beef noodle soup is so perfect for the cold weather and snow! A perfect choice in January! :)

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

Such a warming and delicious noodle soup :D


scrambledhenfruit said...

I love Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice...it's always a favorite of my second graders. We had fun this week with A.A.Milne's Furry Bear. But since I'm NOT a bear and I DO care if it "froze or snew", this is just the thing I need to shake the chill out of this cold, cold winter. :)

Chocolate Shavings said...

I'm glad you tried our February cover recipe ! Such a comforting dish for this time of year :)

Beth said...

I loved it. I know I can always rely on a Canadian Living recipe - that's why I make so many of them!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty glad it's now February! Trucking through winter!! Your soup looks delicious and so warm and comforting!

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