Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Warming up on a cold, winter day - Laura Ashwood

February has been a ridiculously cold month in nearly every state this year. I'm in northern Minnesota and we are no stranger to cold winters, but it was below zero for nearly two weeks and that get miserable after awhile. One morning it actually got down to -47ºF (without wind). I know that is nothing compared to the states south of us that aren't used to the cold and my heart and prayers are with those that lost power and suffered through the cold snap. 

When it's cold like it was, I tend to hunker down and stay put in the house. My husband, on the other hand, took a day off work to go and cut down trees for our wood furnace, since we'd gone through considerably more wood than usual. (Have I mentioned how grateful and blessed I am to have him lately?) One of my favorite things to do when I am in "hunker down" mode is catch up on my movies and snuggle with my dogs. 

Gus is by far our most cuddly dog. He wants a lap at all times and is perfectly content to spent his day laying with me and letting me mess with his mustache and beard. I know that weighted blankets are popular these days, but I have my own little 10 lb weight that is guaranteed to make me feel more calm and less stressed.

The other thing I love to do when it's cold is make soup. One of my favorites is Chicken Wild Rice Soup. This uses one of Minnesota's native grasses, wild rice, which gives the soup the distinctive, nutty flavor that only wild rice has. (It's truly a grass, not a rice, but it can be found where the rest of the rices are sold). Everyone that has tried this soup loves it, and I hope you do too.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

4 T. butter (1/2 stick)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
4 Carrots, diced 
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)
3 quarts chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/4 c. wild rice (uncooked)
1 c heavy whipping cream
Salt & pepper  

In a stock pot, melt butter and add onion, carrots and celery. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until vegetables start to soften and onions are translucent. Add garlic, thyme and flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly for about 3 more minutes. Slowly add water, stirring until well incorporated. Add chicken broth, chicken, wild rice and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for an hour. Just before serving, remove from heat and add cream. Stir until mixed. 

Until next month....

xo, Laura


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  1. -47 is an actual temperature? Oh my word. Thank you for the yummy-sounding soup recipe, and photos of Gus. Best of luck with your book bundle, Laura!

    1. Thank you Magdalenda, and yes, sadly it is a real temp. We had three mornings in a row that it was -35 or colder.

  2. Gus is adorable! Try to stay warm. I hope the temps rise soon. That is crazy low.