Holy cow, now I haven’t seen a snow storm like that since I lived in Montana. I hope everybody is safe and warm. For those struggling without power, let’s hope the lights come back on soon. The good news is the temps are rising and hopefully the worst is over. A reporter from the Seattle Times, Mike Rosenberg, recently said that, during the run up to this storm, the biggest grocery sellers were, in order: avocados, sockeye salmon, and celery. CELERY. I love the Puget Sound.
Our Own Soups
Make the Perfect Meal Starters
Good lord, if there were ever a time to stay home and get snuggled up with a steaming hot bowl of delicious soup, this is it. If you’ve already enjoyed some of Our Own Soups from one of our hot bars on a lunch break, you already know how surprisingly delicious they are. They’re our own unique recipes. The culinary team from our Deli literally spends dozens of hours tasting and cultivating each unique recipe. You won’t find them anywhere else.
“Our Own Soups are made in the small-batch style, unlike a lot of other places that make thousands of gallons at a time,” says Shauna Howell, our Director of Culinary Services. “For example, we still sauté the onions and celery and add it to real broth, not just a base. We’re talking rich, flavorful ingredients. Nearly every recipe is additive-free and we go with organic ingredients whenever possible. Plus, these soups simmer in a large kettle that’s easy to empty so the soups don’t overcook into a big bowl of mush like some manufacturers.”
If you’ve seen them stacked in pouches in our Deli case, you already know that there’s very little fuss or packaging, which means less waste for the landfill and more efficient shipping. Plus, our pouches are BPA-free which means you can heat them up in hot water before serving for a less messy stove or you can stack them easily in your freezer with a little sheet of cardboard in between so they don’t stick together.
Speaking of stocking up, next week we’re slashing the price big time on Our Own Soups for the Feb. 20 Big Board. So now’s the time to do a little taste-testing because you’ll want to take advantage of the special price to fill up your freezer! Because they’re small-batch soups, there’s no telling how fast they’ll sell out.
If you’re like me, then you’ve had to navigate the logistical complexities of five school and daycare closures in ten days, meaning more time at home with the kids and less time planning your meals. But one of the reasons I love Our Own Soups is they’re such a tasty example of “speed-scratch” cooking and the perfect meal starter.
I can pick up some Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup (my wife’s favorite), throw in some freshly chopped spinach to brighten it up, add a few extra handfuls of chicken and serve atop a bed of long-grain brown rice. Now I’ve got a truly delicious, home-cooked style meal that was a snap to prepare! You can find a complete list of all our daily and seasonal varieties on our website.
“I really love the Hatch Green Chile & Pork Stew when it’s in season,” Shauna says. “It’s perfect for huevos rancheros or smothering chicken enchiladas. I use it more like a sauce than a soup. Our Own Cheddar Broccoli is amazing on top of a baked potato with chopped chives. You never know how long some of these varieties will last so get ‘em while you can.”
Last Minute V-Day Meal Ideas?
And if you’re still looking for a last-minute dinner idea for somebody special, look no further than our Feb. 13 Big Board. We’ve got wild halibut fillets that are just begging for your best recipe. Save $7.01 lb.
And if you need some inspiration to try something new, I pulled two ideas from our recipe archive. If you’re looking to pull out the big guns, this Pecan-Crusted Halibut with Pesto CreamSauce is an absolute rockstar. Or, if you’re in the mood for something lighter but still brimming with fun flavors and ingredients, try our Halibut with Tomatoes and Basilfor a savory, colorful spin on this firm, flaky fish.
If you’re not feeling quite that ambitious in the kitchen you can still make it special. Just swing through our Deli for a screamin’ deal on double crème Fromager d’Affinois, a soft-ripened, Brie-style cheese that pairs perfectly with Our Own Cranberry Sauce — no, seriously try it — and a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne. Now THAT’S how to put the finishing touch on a special Valentine’s Day.
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
SAINT AGUR - When someone asks for a blue cheese recommendation, I always start by asking how they’ll use it. If they want to make a creamy pasta sauce, blend it with butter to top a steak, or just spread it on anything, I always send them straight to Saint Agur. From the Auvergne region of central France, this very spreadable cow’s milk blue has more blue veins than some and offers a creamy, tangy taste that works with just about anything. There’s a reason it’s been a standard in cheese cases for over 30 years in the US. Try it with a ripe pear. It’s the bomb!
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.