Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Saving Soup

I’ve felt my energy growing all day, even after losing an hour of sleep last night to daylight saving time. I must admit I slept more than the extra hour, waking up at 10 a.m. To a morning person like me this felt like the middle of the day. Since half the day was gone I considered staying in bed all day.

But I could see a bit of sunlight filtering in thorough the crack between my blinds. I also heard birds singing like I haven’t heard them before this spring. I’ve been listening for them and have heard a few tweets here and there, but this was a full chorus performing for one another. If I didn’t know any better, I could almost imagine it was warm summer day outside. That was enough to get me up at least to see what kind of day was in store for me.

When I did I began to see true signs of spring. When I grabbed the Sunday paper I saw the green stems of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths peeking up through the ground. I guess it’s not too hard to believe since spring officially begins in a week.

And, not to rush things, but that means it’s only three months until the first official day of summer. Which means the growing — and CSA season — is right around the corner. I’m already signed up for another season membership at Two Onion Farm again this summer. I’m looking forward to an extended season into mid-November and a full six months local and tasty produce to eat and cook.

Although I used up the last of my fresh CSA produce when I made the Saffron Almond Potatoes at the end of January, I have a few tomatoes left. Bolstered with the extra energy of having the sun still shining at dinnertime, I took three each of the oven-dried and the whole tomatoes from the freezer and began whipping up another Spanish-inspired dish.

I ended up with soup, because with all the warm weather that is no doubt on the way, I won’t have too much longer to enjoy it. I seasoned it with some of the saffron and also paprika. The rest of the dish was simple. I sauteed onions and garlic in olive oil and added the tomatoes and spices along with a cup of water. I let it simmer for about a half an hour to thaw out and heat the tomatoes, and then put it in the blender.

After pouring it back in the pot, I added a can of drained chickpeas and a couple handfuls of spinach and heated it until the chickpeas were warm. I topped it with feta cheese and served it with toasted baguette brushed with olive oil. The soup was good, but the best part was eating it in the light of day. I even saw a few birds flitting about the backyard as I dined. Bring on spring!