Tuesday, May 17, 2011

sickety soupety

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go…


Whine whine whine my life is so hard, I stayed home sick and made soup. Story of my life this year.

I am so sick of perpetually getting overwhelmed by work/failing to take care of myself/failing to feel capable of being a good enough friend/sister/daughter/girlfriend to everyone in my life.

So I will give this, a measly but concrete contribution to the world.

Good soup.


But I am getting ahead of myself. In fact that was the second of TWO soups I made today.

I made Indian-spiced tomato soup, which I’ve made many a time before, but it was vastly improved by THIS:


So living at home (something that, despite the good company, I’m also sick of) sometimes means making discoveries in one’s fridge. This vindaloo curry paste—I’ve no idea how old it is. Who bought it. What they bought it for.

I do know that it’s totally delicious. And the ingredients are pretty darn wholesome for a bottled condiment.


So in the onion and ginger sauteeing process, instead of making my own spice mix I just threw in a tablespoon or two of this.


Then my usual pantry staples. I kind of can’t remember my life before fire roasted tomatoes.

And I must confess, I learned of their glory from Rachael Ray. I’m gonna say, she’s all right. Though I haven’t seen her show in awhile… any, actually. I think the last time I watched a TV show was an episode of The Office with the AmeriCrew… in October? I stayed home sick today and thought about watching TV because it seemed appropriate. And then was just like… Why? What’s the point?

Anyway, fire roasted tomatoes. Imagine what other culinary discoveries I’d make if I watched TV more regularly.


The finished soup (let simmer together for half an hour or so) filled my body with warmth and my throat with pain-relieving spice.


And was rounded out with a lovely snack plate (yay yay yay hot food eaten at a leisurely pace for lunch! I love not being at work!)


On the left, a “quesadilla”. Only in the sense that it was warm, on a tortilla, and sort of cheesy. I mean, a Trader Joe’s whole wheat flax wrap spread with Laughing Cow garlic and herb and thrown in my toaster oven is in no danger of fooling anyone’s Mexican grandmother. But is quite tasty. As for the stuff on the right, that was carrots and my current favorite dipper…



I made dessert hummus!


I’ve been totally jonesing for it ever since I tried Crazy Camel’s varieties at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival (a really smashing event). It’s been all over food blog land. It’s such a brilliant idea- protein and fiber-rich, snackable, yet sweet and delicious.

Yes, there are now a plethora of recipes out there, but I’m just so awesome and original, so I created my own.

For flava, I immediately thought of roasted almonds. So into my toaster oven they went, til they smelled awesome (I’m terrible at giving times in my recipes)


Then I opened a can o’ chickpeas. This took hilariously longer than it should have, because the so called “easy open” failed to work and broke off, and when you try to use a regular can opener on an “easy” open it is in fact  very DIFFICULT, not EASY at all. So there was a can opener and a variety of knives used. Levers, physics, etc.

I persevered.


And in my food processor I combined the remaining ingredients to create on my first try, something I am proud to say is impossible to stop eating.

Roast Almond Dessert Hummus

1/4 cup roasted almonds
1 can chickpeas
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
scant 1/8 tsp. pure stevia extract (equivalent to like a tablespoon and a half sugar or honey)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. canola oil
3 T milk

Blend until combined, scraping down sides often.

The stuff is ADDICTIVE!


Back to soup. Soup #2.

I had a very large quantity of lamb bones in my freezer left over from my awesome Lebanese Butcher experience at Easter time. I had an afternoon and a crockpot at my disposal. Stock was in my near future.

From reading various cookbooks, I knew that if I wanted to be a proper stockmaker, I had to roast the bones first. So into an oven they went (having no clue what I was doing, I just stuck ‘em in a 350 degree oven for… awhile. Til they started to smell good,which seemed as good a test as any).


They were still sorta reddish at that point, but I knew they’d be going into a hot pan for several hours, so I wasn’t real worried.


Carrot and onion tops, coupla garlic cloves, salt and pepper, hot water.


On high for 4 or 5 hours. Made the whole kitchen smell fab.

Assembled lotsa veggies (onion, carrot, garlic, and shrooms)


Sauteed in olive oil til golden, adding some crushed red pepper flakes at the end for some zing


Added a cuppa lentils, tossing around to coat with flava


Poured in the wonderfully aromatic homemade stock


And cooked til the lentils got soft.

Finished with fresh mint.



Erin Lee said...

"I am so sick of perpetually getting overwhelmed by work/failing to take care of myself/failing to feel capable of being a good enough friend/sister/daughter/girlfriend to everyone in my life."

Ditto, chica! I'm home sick today......

Anonymous said...

you had one busy kitchen for a sick day! that's awesome! The soup sounded so good! and rachel ray is awesome. I always use her recipes as inspiration for my own because she really knows hot to keep excellent food really simple

Jess said...

Now I'm craving a quesidilla!! (i think i spelled that wrong..)

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Two things:

One: Doubting your capability as a good enough girlfriend is like the vanilla bean doubting its potential to make a good enough dessert. You are so sweet to me; whenever I've needed good counsel or someone to just be there for me you always have been. Plus, knowing how much you care about the important people in your life is a tribute to just how incredible you are.

Two: Dessert humus. I think you've found a way to make dessert just as enticing as the main shabang.

P.S. Those lamb bones could impress a Yeti. They're huge!