There was always vegetable soup on the table, at the corner on the wood burning stowe, waiting for Grandad to come from his little carpenter work shed in the backyard, for me, coming from school, for lunch, for dinner, for afternoon hunger strike, leftovers for breakfast. Soup is a medicine, Grandma always used to say. It’ good for your stomach, it’s good for your health, she said. So I would always diligently have a plate, but only when I really had to, for lunch. Because I didn’t quite get the notion of soup as a medicine because I was a child, I was in perfect health and digestion, I was a child and children are not known for their crazyness about soups.
And Grandma’s explanations weren’t long nor informative, to prove me otherwise and make me believe and make me eat more soup. Because Grandma was always busy, she always had lots on her mind and hands so she would just diligently cook her medicine soup every day for everyone to come and eat. But soup of any kind was always brewing on her stove.
This is a recipe about nothing, really, except my memory of Grandma. Because it’s so basic and simple and average food blog reading chap would think, now that’s not a recipe, my dear, and go on looking for some brighter, richer, more beautiful set up plate photographed in way more interesting way, promissing more interesting meal.
And this chap would probably be right. But not in every word of it’s sense. Because now I know – soup is a medicine. Not just in nutritious sense. But because it reminds of Grandma’s kitchen, of times where everything was simple and kind and Grandma’s wooden burning stove’s warmth seemed to feed me and protect me from every possible dragon that could be after a 7 year old girl.
Now, more than 30 years later, when the same soup brews on my stove almost every day, I feel the same. And for some crazy reason, my kids love to eat soup.
Grandma’s vegetable soup
2 parsley roots
piece of celery root
handful of green peas
salt, peper, other seasonings to taste
For semolina dumplings
around 5 tbsp of semolina
dash of salt
For vegan version, and 2 – 3 tbsps of cous cous or pasta of your choice.
Dice the vegetables finely. On 2 tbsp of oil saute vegetables for few minutes stirring constantly, till the carrots let their nice colour to the oil. Then add green peas, seasonings and cover with water. Cook till the vegetables are cooked, around 20 minutes. Add water if necessary. Keep in mind that dumplings will absorb much of the liquid. In the meantime, in the little bowl crack an egg and add semolina. Stirr till everything comes nicely together. Semolina should be moist but not runny or dry. The drier it is, the more dense dumplings will be and take longer to cook. Leave it aside, semolina will absorbe egg a bit. After 15 minutes of cooking the soup, with two spoons grab, make and drop dumplings sized of a larger haselnut into the soup. On the lower heat, cook for aditional 8 – 10 minutes. If you’re not sure if dumplings are fully cooked, take one out and cut it in half. The middle should not be darker or denser than the outside. Don’t overcook. Add more water if dumplings absorbed much of the soup, taste the seasonings and serve to your loved ones.