I snipped and hung the bittersweet to dry this weekend.
SB brought the first of the little pumpkin gourds in and plopped them on the kitchen work island.
While we watched the Boston Red Sox make mush of the Toronto Bluejays, I boiled a couple potatoes to make potato gnocchi.
After a brisk kneading, the gnocchi dough was ready to divide and roll in to long ropes.
Little ropes got cut and shaped into little striped oval gnocchi.
Little striped gnocchi got dropped into boiling water ... and when they floated to the surface they got fished out and dropped into chicken soup.
Cool weather, a snap in the air, and the first soup of the fall season. Life is good.
Fast Chicken Soup
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and diced small
1 medium purple onion, small dice
3 stalks celery with their leaves intact, small dice
1 tbsp each, minced fresh rosemary needles and thyme sprigs
5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
potato gnocchi for 4 hungry people
1 c. more chicken broth mixed with 2 tbsp. flour
1 generous cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
Making the Soup:
1. Heat a large Dutch oven on the stovetop. Add the olive oil, chicken pieces and salt measure. Cook for about 5 minutes, browning the chicken pieces.
2. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and toss in the onions, carrots, celery, and herbs into the hot pot. Cook for about 7 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth and stir to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender crisp.
4. Add the chicken back to the soup. Turn off the heat and make the gnocchi.
5. As the gnocchi floats to the surface in its cooking pot, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the chicken soup.
6. Bring the heat back up under the soup when all the gnocchi has been aded to it. Add the peas and let them cook to tender crisp.
7. Add the chicken broth that has been mixed with the flour and let the soup thicken a bit.
8. Add the black pepper, correct the saltiness. Serve piping hot.
Serves : 4 - 6
2 large Russet potatoes
1 large egg
a generous pinch of white pepper
a generous pinch of Kosher salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1. Earlier in the day, place the potatoes (unpeeled and whole) in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the potatoes until they can be pierced with a skewer.
2. Drain the water, turn the potatoes onto a plate and let them cool. When you can handle them, gently peel the skins off the potatoes. Mash them with a fork and let them continue to cool.
3. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
4. Turn the cooled potato onto a cool, clean kneading surface. Make a well at the center of the mound. Beat the egg, white pepper, and salt in a small bowl and add it to the potato well.
5. Measure the flour and have it right beside your work surface.
6. Flour your hands and begin kneading the egg into the potato, adding some flour every couple kneading turns.
7. Work quickly and knead lightly until the flour is incorporated and the dough is scraped from the kneading surface and worked into a dough ball. This process shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
8. Divide the dough into six equal pieces.
9. Roll each dough piece into a long snake (about a foot and a half). Cut into 1 inch pieces.
10. By now, the water should be boiling. Roll the little gnocchi pieces into little 'football' shapes. Use a fork to make stripes on them and drop them into the boiling water. When they float to the surface and roll over once or twice, use a slotted spoon to remove them and drop them into the warm soup pot.
11. Any unused gnocchi pieces can be placed on a cookie sheet and flash frozen. Then gather them into zip-lock plastic bags and draw the air out and seal. Freeze for up to two months.
NOTE: SB and I think that adding minced dried onion or a handful of Parmesan cheese or chopped chives would be a worthy addition to the gnocchi dough. Let me know if you experiment and how it comes out!