Last month my husband Patrick and I traveled to San Diego — a short trip to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. I have traveled all over California, but had never made it to San Diego, the city of perfect weather. We had some sun, and that’s when I whipped out my camera and took a few shots, but most of the trip had less than perfect weather.
I loved the areas of the city we visited. We ate good food, walked a lot, and the weather reminded me of Seattle – grey, cool, and misty. It drizzled on and off for all three days we were there – it just kept rolling in off the Pacific. The locals said it was unusual weather for early October. I’ll have to go back just to make sure they weren’t joking.
Top on my list was a stroll in Little Italy where I found a nice pasta shop - Assentis’ Pasta where I wanted to buy some of that beautiful homemade pasta, but had no way to cook it before I returned home. I did pick up some coffee from a fabulous grocery store The Market at Buon Appetito that they imported from a shop in one of Patrick’s favorite places in the world – Saint Eustachio’s in the Piazza Sait’Eustachio in Rome.
I also thoroughly enjoyed lunch outdoors at The Prado in Balboa Park . The buildings were beautiful in the park, especially when the sun shone.
But the highlight of the trip was lunch in La Jolla with Patrick at Georges at the Cove for a bowl of what our waiter said was Oprah’s favorite soup, followed by a sunset walk above the cliffs to watch and listen to the seals commune with one another.
I’ll share George’s recipe below, they hand it out if you ask! I made this when I returned home, but I adjusted the recipe to lighten the calorie count, and was not pleased with the results. I’ll keep working on it, and when I prefect it, you’ll be the first to know.
George’s at the Cove Smoked Chicken, Broccoli, Black Bean Soup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 cup broccoli stems, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried sweet basil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 cup diced smoked chicken (recipe follows)
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 cups heavy cream
- salt and ground pepper, to taste
- 2 TBSP cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water
In 1/4 cup butter, saute carrots, onion, celery and broccoli stems for 5 minutes. Add thyme, oregano and basil; saute 5 minutes more. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add hot chicken stock and reduce by one-third. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, smoked chicken, beans, broccoli florets: simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream, simmer for 5 minutes more and season to taste (thickening with cornstarch if desired). Drop in remaining butter, piece by piece, stirring until melter and serve immediately.
Smoked Chicken: On a covered grill slightly smoke boneless chicken, cooking to medium rare (about 30 minutes) – Use applewood or mesquite chips.