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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dansk (ing) with Sausage Soup

I am blessed in that Monsieur loves to cook.  Not to say that I am a complete ignoramus in the kitchen but if there is someone in the family who loves to cook and doesn't consider it a chore, why not give them full rein? Recently, he mentioned that our glass Pyrex open baker was a little shallow for his roast potatoes and he wouldn't mind one that was deeper, one that somehow gave off the message, "I am up to the job, in fact more than up to the job.  I will make your potatoes sing."  Glass just wasn't cutting it.  Now I do love the lowly spud in all its permutations and his roast potatoes especially.  And, I am a firm believer that if you want someone to enjoy what they are doing and to do a good job, they need to be given the right tools.  As luck would have it, I was thrilled to thrift a vintage Dansk Kobenstyle open baker and a small casserole pot shortly afterwards.  The rare times I have come across Dansk enamelware, the pieces were in really poor condition.

I don't mind that the white casserole baker has a few chips around the rim as it is for our own use.  Other than the few chips, the enamel is in great shape.  I don't think white is all that common a colour with Dansk pieces.  I just love the snowy pristineness of it.  Monsieur has already used it for his potatoes.  No photos, sadly, as we were too busy gobbling them down.  Monsieur is of the opinion that the hefty cast iron is fantastic at heat retention and for giving the potatoes that delicious crunchy crust.  The baker is very heavy and yes the potatoes were divine.  The red pot is in almost pristine condition.  I adore the fact that the lid doubles as trivet.

I do so enjoy clever, well thought out design, don't you?  Funnily enough, there was a display of reissued Dansk Kobenstyle in a fancy home goods store in town.  I stepped in to take a look but was disappointed to see that it was all made in Thailand.  It looked very pretty but I just felt that the mystique of the brand had been diluted somewhat.  I can see that reissuing it helps to stir up interest in an iconic line and makes it accessible to a new generation of cooks but I much prefer hunting for the original vintage pieces.  What do you think of reissuing iconic pieces?
As the weather is still bitterly cold and snowy, I asked Monsieur to make a hearty sausage soup.  He tends to freestyle it so I don't have an exact recipe.  He just used what was on hand.

There are carrots, celery, cabbage and mushrooms in there.  A couple of bay leaves for flavour.  Monsieur used two links of Farmer's Smoked Sausage.  Of course, for a vegetarian version, just omit the sausage. The marvelous thing about soup is that you can throw whatever you have on hand into the pot and let it simmer away and work its magic.  The prep bowls are Le Creuset ramekins which I also thrifted.  Season the soup to taste.  Monsieur used Himalayan salt which has a lovely pale pink colour.  Just remember that if you are using sausages, they will impart some salty smoky flavour to the soup.

A dollop of sour cream on top and some basil leaves (omit the sour cream if you are lactose intolerant) and a couple of slices of toasted crusty bread on the side and you have a filling, warming Winter meal.  The bread is on a Denby plate, also thrifted.  What are you doing to stay warm this Winter?  And if you are somewhere sunny, please send some sunshine my way!

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