My hometown is not tattooed on my forehead. I don’t carry a sign saying so, but in conversations with out-of-towners, invariably, I’m asked, “Are you from Philadelphia?”
Whaddya” think? I have tried to practice to correct my Philadelphia nasal, but it is what it is. That’s just the way I “tawk.” I’m a Philly girl.
We Philadelphians have our own regional dialect and local language. Take the word “mahoff.” Not listed in a dictionary, the internet’s “Word Detective” says, “This is evidently a seriously obscure term outside of Philadelphia.” Who would have known? I used the word the other day referring to the big “mahoff” from New Jersey and wondered what bigger “mahoff” must want Chris Christie off the 2016 ballot? Who is the biggest “mahoff?” The one who shuts down the bridge or the one who investigates the one who shut down the bridge? I wonder?
Like the word “mahoff,” Campbell’s Soup Company is synonymous with the Philadelphia region. Campbell’s tomato soup used to be a canned variety that I loved, but a few years ago the taste seemed to change. With New Jersey tomato growers experimenting with the old, heirloom varieties, like the Rutgers, one of the true “Jersey” tomatoes (my Dad’s gardening choice), maybe the old “MmmMmm Good” flavor may soon return. But you don’t have to wait to get some good soup, and you don’t have to go to “Ac-a-me,” either. Instead, make some yourself.
There’s no food quite as comforting, especially on a cold, winter day, as a bowl of homemade soup. I guess that’s why January was declared National Soup Month. Some soup recipes, especially those using bones, require many hours to gently simmer. If you have the time, these recipes deliver great taste and make an abundant amount. But you don’t have to do hours of kitchen duty to get some good soup.
If the answer to your question, “Jeet?” is “No, ju?”, then there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of soup “wit” a “san-wich” to quell your appetite. A pot of homemade soup is not only economical, but is an easy clean-up, as it’s made in just one pot. Not only that, but leftovers can be frozen to enjoy later.
It’s good to have some soup on hand while you’re watching the “Iggles” play (unfortunately, next year). Homemade soup has a lot going for it, and you’re prob-lee getting the pix-ture, by now. I know “youse” will enjoy this soup. This recipe for Minestrone is “my-en.” This souperb recipe is souper!
Saute in 2 Tbls. canola oil:
1 large onion, chopped
1 small leek, chopped, white and part of green
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, chopped, about 1 cup
3 stalks celery, chopped, about 1 cup
2 quarts chicken broth (I use Swanson lower sodium)
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 can whole tomatoes, 28 oz., break up tomatoes
1 tsp. marjoram
1 Tbls. basil
2 Tbls. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and split in half
1 small green pepper, seeded, chopped, ½ cup
2 cups cabbage, shredded coarsely
1/4 cup small soup pasta, uncooked (like tubettini, tubetti or ditali or ditalini)
2 small zucchini, coarsely chopped, 1½ cups
1 can cannellini beans, 15 oz.
4 or 5 fresh mushrooms, chopped, about ¼ lb.
Salt and Pepper
- In a large soup pot, sauté in canola oil the onion, leek, garlic, carrots and celery, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, water, wine and the tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat.
- Add marjoram, basil, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, jalepeno pepper, green epper, and cabbage.
- Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.
- Add the pasta, zucchini, beans and mushrooms, and gently cook about 10 minutes more until the pasta is tender.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese on the side.
Eat well, live long, enjoy!
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Northeast Times, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053.)