There was no measuring when cooking this comforting dish. I made it up when my daughters were elementary school age. It’s a vegetable-filled and cheesy-sauced soup accompanied by hot homemade corn bread. Just about everything was homemade by me when the girls were growing up–even their baby food. I never bought one single jar of baby food for them. It was so easy to take a bit of fresh steamed veggies or fresh fruit and puree them to make the ideal food with no added sugar, preservatives or additives. But I digress–I was talking about that soup that they loved so much–that we all loved so much.
I started with cooking the diced potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yellow squash, celery, onions, and garlic altogether in one large, deep pot. I may have used vegetable stock. Then I started the cheese sauce by heating milk on the stove, grating the cheddar cheese and dusting it lightly with flour before adding it to the pan of hot milk–not boiling. It always came out perfectly smooth–the grated cheese melting lump free and the flour adding just enough “bulk” to thicken the sauce to the perfect consistency as I gently whisked it in the milk. When the vegetables were tender–I drained most of the cooking water off and then added the sauce–salt and pepper were the only spices. Although sometimes a splash of tamari may have been added too. Served with a side of hot cornbread with butter and jam or honey, it finished the dinner off just right.
And another thing that made this dish so particularly enjoyable was using the special soup bowls that we had bought at the Mikasa outlet. They were a beautifully pleasing deep, cobalt blue ceramic that had a handle on one side in which you could use to keep from burning your hands on the hot surface of the bowl. The girls loved those bowls and I think I mainly used them when I made that favorite, nourishing soup.
I cherish the memories of bringing those girls comfort.
Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Comfort Food: http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/monday-morning-writing-prompt-comfort-food/