Undoubtedly, slow and steady truly does win the race. This is a nourishing soup with layers of fresh, meritorious flavors. Think of adding rice, pasta, or assembling a salad or sandwich to go with it. This soup tastes marvelous with a dollop of goat cheese and a buttery, toasty hunk of French baguette. The result is a reflection of time, patience, and quality ingredients in which herbaceous notes, citrus, and hints of sweetness meld together in a savory, drinkable brine.
By Sophia Feliciano
Photos By Eric Fallecker
Last week I personified a reckless rogue with a debit card. To explain further, I now own a completely useless and unnecessary blinged out eye mask which I wore for a grand total of three hours at a Halloween masquerade party. Here’s to hoping that I might wear this accessory again some day. Perhaps I will be more eccentric than usual on my next birthday. Either way, I felt genuinely ashamed and convicted in the wake of this whimsical impulse purchase. I told myself, “Sophia, you need to be punished!” I reproached myself with a week long sentence of soup consumption. It’s holiday time and I need to save my funds being that my parents expect somewhat decent gifts from me now that I have a stable big girl job. Thus I responded to this self inflicted challenge with zeal and determination. Yes, I will persist with this soup until the very last drop and it shall prove delectable.
Last Monday I was scheduled to work overnight at one of my store accounts which allotted some day time for a food run. Just to be clear, elves are not the culprits who change your local grocery store layout when you’re away; that is what sales reps and merchandisers are for! Yet I digress in the telling of this anecdote; due to my topsy turvy schedule, I was able to pay the farmer’s market a visit under one condition. I could spend no more than ten dollars. I can tell you now friends that I did not succeed. I spent $10.50, but close enough. I was able to procure a beautiful and exotic Kabocha squash, carrots, onions, garlic, opal basil, and parsley. For nine dollars, I purchased a singular grass fed, organic lamb shank at my local Whole Foods. I spent another six on a bottle of modest red table wine for cooking. You always want to go with a modest and palatable wine; you might just consume the excess while cooking.
I combined the above ingredients with two apples I had on hand alongside dried lentils, oregano, and juniper berries. I confidently left the concoction to slow cook over night while I was away. I whistled while I worked as I imagined the elements getting along swimmingly in their succulent bath. Undoubtedly, slow and steady truly does win the race; for today, I tasted a nourishing soup with layers of fresh, meritorious flavors. This brew replenished and enlivened my inanimate being; I was a complete zombie before the spoon hit my lips. I now have over ten quarts of savory soup to imbibe over the course of a week. I can always add rice, pasta, or assemble a salad or sandwich to go with. This soup tastes marvelous with a dollop of goat cheese and a buttery, toasty hunk of French baguette.
The broth of this soup is unblemished in cultivation as the flavors are pure. The result is a reflection of time, patience, and quality ingredients in which herbaceous notes, citrus, and hints of sweetness meld together in a savory, drinkable brine.
- ½ of a Kabocha squash or 1 acorn squash
- 1 lamb shank
- 4 carrots (roughly chopped)
- 2 apples diced
- 2 onions diced
- 1 head of garlic ( roughly chopped)
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch purple basil
- 1½ c red wine
- 1 tbs juniper berries
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons fine pink salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper.
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Turn the oven on to 425 degrees.
- While oven is heating, salt your lamb shank and set aside.
- Cut Kabocha squash in half and scoop out insides. Drizzle the halves with olive oil and salt. Place the halves downward facing on to a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. When finished, scoop out the insides. You will only need one half of the squash.
- Heat two tablespoons of butter on a skillet, medium heat. ( I prefer my cast iron)
- Sear each side for 2-3 minutes or until well browned and remove from pan.
- Place lamb shank in the well of a 10 quart slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Give it a decent stir and allow mixture to slow cook for 8-10 hours.
- The lamb will fall of of the bone easily! Serve with crusty bread and a hunk of goat cheese for a satisfying meal.