Saturday, March 14, 2020

Anna Sultana’s Onion Soup & Lamb Barley Soup / St. Patrick’s Day & St. Joseph’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is on Tuesday.
Thursday, officially the first day of Spring, is also the feast of St. Joseph.

Do you ever wonder how St. Patrick and St. Joseph feel about the fact that their feast days always happen in Lent?

Sometimes St. Valentine’s also falls in Lent.
Lent or not - people celebrate St. Valentine's.
A loved one's fury, and revenge methods, are a lot scarier than God's judgment.
And, anyway, church rules have been known to change.

But, for Pat and Joe, it’s guaranteed that their big days will land in the no-frills, no-fun, no-treats-for-you, season of Lent.
It’s enough to make a saint curse.
I mean, Pat went to Ireland and Joe, well, who has better family connections?
What does a guy have to do to get a decent holy day?

Well… I think that this is not the time to worry about Lent.
Not when there are so many great traditional recipes to enjoy!

Here are a few traditional dishes for St. Patrick.
Don't forget to toast him with a few traditional Irish drinks:


Enjoy a pastry or two - Italian or Maltese style - in honour of St. Joseph:

Next Tuesday we'll have a new moon.
No big whoop… pretty much a night like any other night.
Well, we can say that about most days.
But we still have to eat.
Warm weather is still a long way off, so why not make some soup?


For the Onion Soup…
For something a bit different use one pound each of red onions, sweet onions and yellow onions.
The red onions’ colour will bleed into the broth, but it’s the thought that counts.
Also it’s a way to use onions before they start to sprout.

The soup can be prepared, cooled, then refrigerated up to 2 days. 
When ready to serve, bring it to a boil, ladle into the bowls and continue.

If you want to omit the dry sherry, increase the beef broth to 7 1/4 cups.

About the Lamb Barley Soup…
If you have a lamb leg or chops dinner, be sure to save the bones. 
Place them in a large pot, cover with water, add a diced onion or two along with a few bay leaves, and simmer for a few hours. 
If you have an envelope of onion soup mix handy you can add that, too.
A teaspoon or two of chill powder adds a nice touch.
Let the broth cool and then strain it.
Pick any meat off the bones and add the bits to the broth.

If you haven’t had lamb since last Easter, use broth or water.
Ground beef will work with beef or vegetable broth.
Ground chicken or turkey is good with chicken or vegetable broth.

                        Onion Soup

Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin slices
3 pounds onions
Place in a large pot 
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat over medium heat and add
the sliced onions
Stirring frequently, cook 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and, stirring occasionally, simmer 40 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
2 teaspoons dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Cup dry sherry 
Cook and stir on medium-high heat 1 minute.
7 Cups beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 bay leaves 
Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. 
Cover, simmer on medium-low heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Remove the bay leaves and discard. 

While the soup is simmering, toast 
16 French bread or baguette slices (1/2 inch thick)

Heat the broiler. 
Ladle soup into 8 ovenproof bowls.
Top with 
the toasted bread slices
1 1/2 to 2 Cups shredded Swiss cheese 
Broil, 4 inches from heat, 3 to 5  minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. 
Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty rolls or bread.

                        Lamb Barley Soup

Finely chop
2 medium onions
4 medium carrots
Place in a large pot 
1 pound ground lamb 
the chopped onion
Heat over medium-high heat and stir until the meat is evenly browned and the onions are translucent. 
Discard any excess grease. 
Stir in 
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 Cups lamb broth
1 can condensed tomato soup 
the chopped carrots
1 Cup barley 
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Cover and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes.
Serve with crusty rolls or bread.

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