Tuesday, November 20, 2007

souped up

Howdy, pals. You may have noticed that I haven't been doing much cooking lately--or, much cooking worthy of a blog post, anyhow (what? you don't wanna hear about my gardenburgers and riblets?).

But, with the recent developments in my car situation, I have a feeling that I'll soon be spending more time at home, and that means more time in the kitchen. So, even though Comcast can suck it, I'm getting my cable back on Friday. Winter + no car = one gal who will need to warm it up with the delights of the boob tube.

(boobs... oh, sorry. nothing.)

So, last night I braved the crowds at the grocery store, stocked up my pantry and made some soup. I love making soup. It does require lots of chopping (which I love) and does not require lots of precision (which I often don't want to have). I didn't use a recipe, just started throwing stuff together, tasting, throwing more stuff in, and so on. I put on a pot of white beans (cannelini) and set to work on my broth. I used some vegetable broth, some mushroom broth, some crushed tomatoes, some marsala, just a touch of Bragg's, some herbs de Provence, a big can of kidney beans, some carrot, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, parsley, mustard seeds and dry mustard, a little red wine vinegar, a little honey, lots of pepper, some sea salt, a little cayenne. And, I simmered it all night (without the beans, 'cause I didn't want them to fall apart). I took out half of it (I made a HUGE batch), and stuck it in the freezer as a soup-starter for next time (it'd make a great base for a cabbage soup, or if I ate clams, Manhattan clam chowder. The rest I added the white and kidney beans in, seasoned a little more, shaved some parmesan and threw some fresh parsley and rosemary on top and voila! An assload of soup! I cooled it, and then portioned it into single and/or double serving sizes. I brought some for lunch today, and it was the first time I'd really tried it. It's really good! I was describing it to E-dawg, and she said it sounded like minestrone. It's definitely reminiscent, but without the pasta, and the spicing is a little different. It's seriously yummalicious. I am eager to get home and have some for dinner. I might have to make a quick stop to get a little baguette and some triple-cream brie to have on the side with a little salad. Doesn't that sound like the perfect accompaniment to hibernation?

Here's my little lunch portion. Isn't it cute?
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Man, writing about it is making me hungry!

Also making me hungry is reading about this recipe for Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Autumn Spice Oil. E-dawg was telling me that she's making them for Thanksgiving. I literally drooled when she told me about them, and I nearly died when I read the recipe and saw the photo. Heidi is a genius! Well, it's her adaptation of a Terrance Brennen recipe, but still. (Oh dang! Check out the recipe for Spice-Kissed Pumpkin Pie today!)

I'm also craving these little canapé-type snacks that my aunt used to make when I was a kid. They were ritz crackers with dates and a sweetened cream cheese spread, then baked. I'm not sure why I've been thinking of them, but it seems lately that every time I'm thinking "I'm hungry; what do I want?" I think of those little treats. I'll have to ask my mom about them.

I just found out that I get to leave work early tomorrow--3:00 p.m. I cannot wait to start my long weekend!!

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