Sunday, January 19, 2014

French for Leftovers

I'm sure I was in my twenties before I ever heard the word "mirepoix." To me, it was celery, onions, and carrots--the first things to be chopped before making soup or stew. As my culinary vocabulary improved, so did my cooking skills, and I learned that starting with a basic mirepoix can lead to delicious rewards--even with leftovers.
Last night, we didn't really plan for dinner and probably could have just snacked our way through the evening. Instead, I found what I could in the refrigerator and came up with a satisfying soup for a cold winter's night. Of course, it began with a mirepoix.
I sautéed chopped celery, onions, and carrots with a clove of fresh minced garlic in some extra-virgin olive oil. Next I added some chicken broth, a chopped Yukon Gold potato, and a little of Colonel De's Cowboy Rub. (The rub is a blend of chili pepper, garlic, onion, cilantro, cumin, oregano, basil, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne available at Colonel De's Gourmet Herbs and Spices at Findlay Market. I like it because it doesn't include salt yet adds plenty of flavor.) Next I added some leftovers from the fridge: a chicken sausage, sliced, and a few tablespoons of sauerkraut. (You can see why I didn't need to add additional salt). I let everything simmer for about 45 minutes, and then we enjoyed our meal in a bowl.
You know, soup is really easy when you start with a mirepoix. Now I need to find a fancy-schmancy word for "leftovers." Any ideas?

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