Well, I can’t seem to kick this flu. I thought it was gone by Wednesday and I dutifully went into work for the rest of the week, but by Friday evening I was pretty miserable again. Things haven’t improved greatly and I missed the Halloween party I had been looking forward to last night.
But over night, the world changed around me which helped my mood a bit at least. The heavens opened up and at least this morning, which was a better morning than Saturday morning, was spectacularly beautiful. Ridiculously early to get snow here this time of year, and I hear some areas of Germany got 20 centimeters or more, but very beautiful because most of the leaves remain on the trees and the snow creates this heavy romantic blanket on top of them, lulling you away from the startling number on the thermometer of -3.
I was going nowhere with this flu, that was obvious, and I was in no mood to eat anything but soup. Last night I turned to an old favorite that I discovered a year ago: chicken and dumplings, like clouds in a bowl – which was hearty and comforting and delicious and sent me off to sleep eventually in a satisfied blur.
Tonight I wanted something a little peppier, something with a little kick, but nothing that would send my stomach into a twist. A couple weeks back I came across a potato soup recipe over on Food 52. It took a turn from the thick pureed standard. It’s a Spanish soup, and layers bright sparkling flavors of parsley and vinegar on top of the solid potato base, which in turn is deepened with smoked ham and fried garlic and almonds. I threw a flowery note on top with a little smoked paprika oil.
I can highly recommend the recipe because it’s fast and easy and very very good. It’s the perfect winter soup as well – warm and a little spicy, hearty and filling.
I served it with a tomato and parsley salad (chopped tomatoes, parsley, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper) on top of a slice of country rye. Leftovers will be taken to work..if I make it there tomorrow.
Go try it out. For the paprika oil, just mix a spoonful of smoked paprika in oil (I used olive, but a less flavorful oil might be good as well) and heat it gently on the stove for a few minutes. then spoon it on top of the hot soup right before serving. You can create some pretty dramatic patterns with the bright red oil…but they dissolve relatively quickly.