Summer is slowly fading away here: the days are still sunny and long, but there is a crispness to the air that means Fall will soon take over. Yes, I know that it is only early August. I’m having a hard time accepting that the hot warm days are over. I am just not ready for this. Summer was good to us with long, relaxing days at the cabin – the quintessential “mummon mökki” or “grandma’s cabin” in central Finland. Late nights, sleeping in, sauna & swim, fishing, berry picking, relaxing in the sun & rain. Yes, it has been a good summer.
|Lupine growing in front of the log cabin, painted the traditional red|
|Views of the buildings in the yard: traditional smoke sauna behind the apple tree on the right|
And even though the best of summer is behind us now, there is a perk to the change in weather:
|Top to bottom: Chanterelles, white hedgehog, red boletus|
There are mushrooms everywhere. And their arrival is coinciding with harvest time in Finland, which means that I also have loads of fresh vegetables:
|Harvest from the cabin garden: Swiss Chard, beets, potatoes|
|Lake views and dining under the pines|
|Lake Päijänne pike and chantrelles picked behind the cabin|
|Hot plate with a view|
There aren’t many meals simpler than a one-pot meal made of stuff growing in the garden or in the woods behind the house served with bread, cheese, and garden lettuce.
|Table set for a simple supper|
|Fresh herbs add flavor and color|
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion + onion greens if you have them, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Heat the oil in the soup pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender and beginning to turn golden brown. Add:
6 dl / 3 cups hot water (preheat in a kettle)
500 g / 1 lb new potatoes, chopped small, skin on
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let the mixture bubble until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Using the back of the fork, mash the potatoes roughly. Don’t worry about a smooth mixture: you are aiming for rough chunks of potatoes. Add:
1 liter / quart of fresh chanterelles.
If the chanterelles are small, leave them whole. If they are large, pull them apart with your fingers or chop them roughly with a knife. You want bigger pieces of chanterelle.
Let the mixture bubble for 5 minutes to allow the chanterelles to cook. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add:
1 tablespoon each fresh chives, oregano and sage, diced.
1/2 dl of ruokakermaa / 1/4 cup half & half
Stir the soup to incorporate the herbs, remove from heat, and let it sit for a minute or two to infuse the soup with the flavor of the herbs. Serve with fresh bread.
Serves 4 for a light supper.