Saturday, October 6, 2007

All the soup in the world... what I have made this evening. Soup for tonight's dinner, soup for tomorrow night's dinner, soup for a theoretical future meal in the freezer... it's been a long night. We had a slow day around here and didn't get home from buying groceries until after 7 p.m., so I threw some frozen mini veg spring rolls in the oven to tide us over and got to work on the first soup, which was rutabaga and sweet potato with bacon. This, of course, required peeling and chopping a whole turnip, which is no small task, but I managed, fortified with music and a blackcurrant vodka cooler. This soup begins and ends with bacon, which can't be a bad thing. It also end up being a gorgeous colour from the combination of the yellow turnip and orange sweet potato, and a soup that's tasty, hearty and pretty to look at is awesome. I've made this one before, last winter, but I think this one was even better, if possible. It's on Epicurious as Autumn soup with crispy bacon, but I used stock instead of water and added sauteed onion and garlic at the beginning. Here's how it looked, garnished with crispy bacon shards and sour cream:

The second soup I made tonight was a gingered carrot and butternut squash soup, which I pureed and then pressed through a fine wire strainer to smooth it out. It retains a certain graininess from the squash, but has a decent mouth feel after straining. I have a hard time with carrot soups because I find the carrots bitter, and this soup is no exception - I might add a little honey to it tomorrow before serving in very small bowls - straining gives up a lot in volume, and there are ten of us for dinner at my mom's tomorrow. Perhaps we'll have it in coffee cups, or small dessert bowls. There's a tonne of other food anyway, so it won't hurt us to begin the meal lightly.

And now, my kitchen is closed. There will be no more soup - until next week, I would imagine, when the soup urge will return. I love the improvisational nature of soup making - it lets me goof off a little in the kitchen, and the results are usually edible and sometimes stellar.

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