Sunday, July 24, 2011

Distraction Soup

Dear Mouse,

There is a roach in my kitchen. (or, ok, was when I started this post. Sigh.)

There was also roach in my kitchen last week, as you know because I fled to your place seeking help. Your Fiance killed what was probably its cousin in the hallway, but the original beast got away from us. It was enormous and it had WINGS. Dear God.

I put down many traps and had the exterminator in.

And then, the next night, while peacefully making some peacefully quick-roasted veggies for dinner (I know, in the heat, but it only takes like 10 min), I noticed Moth-Ra had returned. I found him? her? on his/her back inside the big soup pot that lives on the stove, very very dead, perhaps roasted from the heat coming from the veggies below. Perhaps. Perhaps it had eaten some poison and crawled in there to die as a last F-You. Either way, it was very upsetting.

As you know, my phobia concerning these creatures is legend in some circles. I've been known to build forts and barricades, stuff towels in front of doors, sleep upright in arm chairs, consider leaving the house without pants, actually leave the house without pants, and, of course, scream bloody murder.

I put on gloves, and threw the whole thing out (the soup pot plus an innocent teakettle that happened to be inside, oh well), and ended the evening with an amplifier blocking the kitchen (as if to ... what?), a big glass of pink prosecco and some dark chocolate. And two NyQuil. Goodnight world, I thought. Let's try this again tomorrow.

You know you're watching your figure when this is dessert.
Green & Black's Dark Chocolate w/crystallized ginger, Trader Joe's dried berry medley. Actually, delicious.

And I did. A week later, after having my apartment cleaned professionally (first time; amazeballs), I got up the guts to cook something (read: enter the kitchen) again.

And I can only blame insect-related PTSD for the fact that honestly, I have never so thorougly botched a recipe in my life. I truly can't believe the number of things I did wrong. I'm including my version of the recipe. Why? Because it was delicious.

Let's review, shall we?

For one thing, I decided to make soup.
Discerning readers will recall that I have thrown out my only real soup pot.

Soup? In this heat? Well, as I so often do when trying not to think about bugs, I was flipping through my trusty Chase Summer cookbook and came upon "Minestrone Freddo" (or, "Cold Minestrone") which sounded perfect in above-90 weather. (Note: actual process of making soup = not cooling.)

Read On.

The Boo's Hot Weather 'Cold' Minestrone
(Adapted Only Partly On Purpose from Sarah Leah Chase)

12 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-in chunks
1 zucchini, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1 bag (8 oz) baby spinach
1/2 Cup basil, chopped
2 Cups cooked rice*
*I reccommend
Trader Joe's "Brown Rice Medley" which involves long grain brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds)
8 oz (1 package) bacon, chopped (supposed to be half proscuitto and half pancetta, you can do that if you're fancy.)
1 Cup white wine
1 can cannellini (white) beans
Grated parmesan (I'm into Trader Joe's "Creamy Black Pepper Parm" right now)

Side by Side by Side: Brown Rice Medley (L) duet with Chopped Veggies in Bacon Fat (R) (Still healthy!)

1. Right off the bat, forget two ingredients, the carrots (2, diced) and the small green cabbage (sliced). (I didn't miss them but can't hurt.)

2. Heat oil in soup pot over med high heat. Enter bacon. (I like that, I'm gonna start doing stage directions in recipes.) Cook until lightly brown/crispy, 7-10 minutes.

3. Enter squash, zucchini, potatoes, onion, garlic (and carrots if using). (Recommended: chop everything the day before and store in fridge. Makes life easier.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

4. Realize you have completely forgotten the onions. Hastily chop and saute them separately, then throw in. This step not recommended.

5. Enter tomatoes, cook 5 minutes longer.

6. Pour in chicken broth! Pour in wine! Realize your Le Creuset is barely large enough to hold everything. Thank the gods that it didn't overflow. (Use a soup pot.)

7. Add spinach (and cabbage if using). Simmer uncovered for 45 min, hoping it cooks down. (It does, but only a little.) Stir/check occasionally.

8. Add rice, beans, and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.

9. Impulsively throw in a bay leaf. Panic, read everything online about whether or not bay works in minestrone, fish out bay leaf and throw away. (Exit Bay Leaf, Stage Left.) (You don't need to do this either.)

10. Simmer 10 more minutes.

11. Let cool off completely and then put in fridge to chill.

12. Get hungry and eat it warm, with grated parmesan on top. (Recommended: I've now had it both ways and I think it's better warm than cold. Go figure.)

So there you have it. Healthy, whole grain, summer deliciousness. If this soup is wrong, I don't wanna be right.


The Boo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

omigod, you make me laugh out loud!! - what a vision.

the soup - enough for a crowd? sounds delicious...warm especially; a little french bread and butter and a glass of wine. yummm. (And, I think the bay leaf would have been just fine.)