A good new soup.
My son Ezra and I had a dinner party tonight for my ex-brother-in-law and his wife, and my fellow Pratie Head and his girlfriend. It was a success: the conversation was lively and there was a lot of laughing!
I set the table with a tablecloth and napkins I bought in 2000 when (due to extreme stress) I was on a jag of buying table linens on eBay at 4 in the morning. They've been on a shelf under the stairs for 8-1/2 years; this was the first time I used them, which shows I haven't been doing much entertaining.
Ez made a dip out of cranberry chutney and cream cheese and served it with celery sticks and nan (like pita from India). It was a hit.
I invented the soup below, which got hoovered up completely.
Five cloves of garlic, chopped
Oil and butter (to taste or according to your level of austerity)
Four sweet potatoes cut into 1/2" dice
Half a medium sized cabbage, chopped
One carton organic mushroom broth
Grated ginger (I used a scant teaspoon)
Juice of a lime
Salt and pepper
In a dutch oven, saute the onion, garlic, and a bit of salt in half oil/half butter (I used a couple tablespoons total) until almost soft.
Add the diced sweet potatoes and saute, covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes start to soften. I added another tablespoon of butter, so sue me.
In another pan, saute the cabbage and a bit of salt in a more modest amount of oil and butter, covered, until almost soft. Cook uncovered a while and then add to the dutch oven. Cook all the vegetables together, stirring, until the sweet potatoes are mashable with a wooden spoon.
Add the rest of the ingredients (I actually didn't use the entire quart of stock, I just stirred it in gradually until the soup was as thick as I like it to be). Simmer half an hour.