Teresa Parker blogs about restaurants, recipes, and the reasons why she's in love with Spain's food and culture.
They say it's spring but it's cold out and my head is stuffed up and I'm convinced the only cure is the rosemary soup Inés Puigdevall makes at her beautiful casa rural, Mas Garganta, near Olot.
I guarantee this soup will lift you out of almost any kind of slump. Its simplicity is an antidote to winter excesses. Its corny-ness is especially sunny at this point on the calendar when real corn is long ago and far away. And the rosemary, infused correctly, is just this side of medicinal (the trick to that is in steeping the rosemary in the chicken stock to gently extract its aromas—boiling it can make the stock bitter).
Serves 4 as a first course
1 quart good chicken stock*
4 small branches fresh rosemary (each about 4” long)
1/2 cup stone ground organic cornmeal
good kosher or sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring the chicken stock to a rapid boil in a saucepan. Make a rosemary “tea” in the hot stock: turn off the flame, drop in the rosemary and give the broth a stir to submerge the stems thoroughly, cover the saucepan tightly and let the rosemary steep for about 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary and discard it, taste the broth and season well with salt. Bring the broth to a boil again, stir in the cornmeal. Simmer and stir for about 5 minutes. Finish with a grind or two of pepper.
*My friend Gracie, who is a great cook, has cheated very successfully on this recipe using “Better than Bouillon.”