Delicious exploding soup ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

09 November 2007

Delicious exploding soup

It has been week of soup. Soup is great. It is fall and I want soup.

So when I came home from work the other day, our neighbor suddenly popped out the door with a bagful of surplus carrots. Sure, I will take some carrots! I took some carrots and made this soup.

Carrot and white bean explosive blender soup
Why is it called that, I wonder? HMM

white beans boiled
four carrots
a stalk of celery
half a red onion
olive oil
all of your sage
some thyme
some cayenne
dry vermouth
salt, pepper
a blender

First, soak white beans overnight in twice their depth of water. Fortunately, I had done this part already. The next day, pour off the water, replace it with new, and pour the entire business into a big soup pot. Add a bay leaf and whatever other seasoning you want. I decided to try some cloves, which ended up pretty aromatic at first but later got lost in the soup, so whatever. I would maybe add some olive oil in the future, though. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about an hour or so. Drain, reserving at least some of the bean water for soup broth.

You can clearly do all that in advance if you want.

When you're ready to make the actual soup, get out two pots, one big (for soup) and one smallish or whatever size (for broth). Make broth by adding some chopped vegetables or scraps (stockpile!) to bean broth and/or water. Bring it to a boil, reduce, cover, and simmer. It's broth! Make it like you make broth!

In your big soup pot, warm some olive oil while you chop up half an onion and several cloves of garlic. I used red onion because that's all we had left; any onion would work. Throw the onion and garlic in the pot and stir it all up. Also, add your herbs and spices. I was considering going two ways with this soup: either ginger or sage. I chose sage, but a hot ginger and clove theme would be good too. This time, though, I added the entire rest of the bottle of sage plus some thyme and a little cayenne. Let the onions and spices cook while you dice a stalk of celery into tiny bits and add it to the pot. Then start peeling carrots. I think I used four fullsized fat carrots for this batch. They were very juicy. Chop them up and add them to the onion mix, then stir and let soften. If you want a splash of dry vermouth, add it in, stir it up, and let it absorb in as well.

When your broth is bubbling, your beans are boiled, and your vegetables are softened, combine. Strain the broth into the soup pot; throw in the beans. Add a little salt and some pepper, stir it all up, and let it simmer for another ten minutes or so. Then taste and see if you want to add any more spices. Simmer more if you feel the need.

Ok, kids. It is time for the blender.

Be intelligent while using the blender. Don't let it explode all over your stove. This means a couple things. 1. Let it cool off a little before you try to blend it. 2. Don't fill the blender more than a third of the way full. 3. Keep your hand pressed firmly down on the blender lid while processing. and 4. GET AN IMMERSION BLENDER so you don't have to deal with any of this.

Of course the blender exploded all over our stove. I also fortunately had the spice cabinet door open. Double trouble! When John came downstairs, it took him a couple minutes to figure out why all the spices were in the sink. "How did you get that in the spice cabinet?....ok, I'm going to go hide."

It wasn't That bad, but still.

Anyway. Blend everything in as many batches as necessary. Wipe up any explosions as quickly as possible.

Then be happy, because even if it did explode, the soup is AWESOME.

It is exactly what you want in the fall, even if you live in California where technically the only season is "late spring forever". John was especially excited about the smooth creamy pureéd texture. Perhaps the blender madness is worth it!

We had this with baking powder biscuits, which baked while the soup simmered. I used to always use the recipe on the Clabber Girl can, but apparently they've replaced it with some OTHER recipe using baking powder. How could there be a more classic use for baking powder than these biscuits with baking powder in the very name?? I ask you. So I had to use The Internet instead. Fortunately, I came up with exactly what I needed.

I did do a couple things differently: 1. I used whole wheat flour and 2. I just made the dough into balls with my hands after some marginal patting-oriented kneading in the mixing bowl. No biscuit cutting at my house! They turned out really well, barely damp inside and with a slight but discernable butter taste. Plus, since I made the half recipe, I only got nine biscuits. We can eat nine biscuits in a sitting with no problem whatsoever. Ok, we can actually eat eight and leave one for me to have for breakfast the next morning. Either way you avoid the "bag of biscuits getting rock-hard in the refrigerator" problem that has long been a quandary for our times unless you eat them all over the next couple days for various lunches. In conclusion, WE WIN.

No comments: