It tried to be spring here, but apparently it’s just too soon to let go of winter.
I’ve still been making my old everyday standby, minestrone soup — with white beans and canned tomatoes and kale and whatever else is around. Essential, in my soup pot, is a little rind of Parmeggiano or Romano and some basil.
And this was a red lentil soup with red peppers, which was seasoned with cumin and sumac and thickened with a little ground bulgur. I adapted it from this recipe by Ana Sourton, though hers looks completely different…Mine had lemon (of course), hers had pomegranate seeds on top.
Something great to serve with your soup (or salad or for breakfast, for that matter) is a popover (or three or four). Popovers are rather humble with their simple ingredients, but they delight me with their “lofty”magic. A relative of the oven pancake (Dutch baby), popovers will make you appreciate the rising power of the egg!
They’re amazingly simple to make and the only trick to them is not to open the oven until the time is up! It’s also important to heat up the pan with a little butter or oil in the bottom to give the tender popovers a nice crisp crust.
Here’s a good recipe for 12 popovers, made in a muffin tin. You could buy a special popover tin for big popovers, but there’s no need. If you want them to be bigger, just use 8 or 10 cups of a muffin tin.
- 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent and it was fine; probably any will work)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter together in a bowl and let the batter rest while you heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Put the muffin tin in the oven for a couple minutes to warm it up; divide the 2 tablespoons of butter between the muffin cups. Sometimes I heat it up again until the butter is sizzling (but it’s only a moment away from burnt butter — if that happens, it’s okay too)
- Give the batter another couple whisks, and pour into the cups, about halfway. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Without opening the oven (this is important!) reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Now you can open the oven. Your popovers should be puffy, golden brown and hollow on the inside. If they don’t look quite right, they will still taste good. Remove them from the tins, prick with a fork to let steam escape and put them in a cloth lined basket to keep warm.They’re delicious served with butter and honey or jam.