Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sundae Soup & a list of the First 52!

Today was the 52nd Sunday Soup and to celebrate, we had Virginia Peanut Sundae Soup. The soup recipe came from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Practically Everything Vegetarian. The "sundae" part was my own idea.

I reduced the amount of cream that the recipe called for and then I whipped up a quart of whipping cream. I personally dished up today's soup (it's usually a more casual serve-yourself event). First the soup, then I topped it with a dollop of whipped cream, then toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, a few green onions, and a dash of hot sauce.

The Southerner took the photos. Aren't they fun?

I was kind of surprised how creamy and lovely the whipped cream made the soup. I kind of thought it would just melt and be just like if you'd added regular cream to the soup, but while it did melt, it didn't lose its light texture and it made the soup really frothy and decadent.

We had more people than I can count...okay, I can count that high, but I'm not going to! Too tired! It was great. Lots of regulars, some we see occasionally, some newbies. Really a fun day. And we collected 18 cans of soup/food for the local food bank (plus The Librarian's who forgot to bring hers, but remembered to bring me chocolates. Priorities people! She's got them!).

I really wasn't sure how many people would be coming so The Southerner and I made 6 times the recipe. Yes. Six. That would be 24 servings. We have a lot of soup leftover, but it was really tasty, so that's okay. Also, we have friends whose parents are away and the poor starving waifs don't know how to cook. They may want some!

The bread was my standard no-knead, and so many people want to learn to make it that I'm planning a class. I'm not sure if I'll teach it here or at The Commons or ??? but I do think I'll do it soon. Maybe in May.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a list of all 52 Soups that I made over the last year. Many are original recipes (although I haven't marked them), and only about 2 were recipes I followed to the letter. Most I adapted or changed somehow. You should be able to find info about each of them in the blog by looking for its date, if you're interested.

I think, perhaps later in the week, after I've met my deadline for my book, I will write something about what this year has meant to us, but right now, I have to go eat the milk chocolates out of the box before The Southerner gets to them. Er...I mean, dinner. I have to go eat dinner.

Thanks for sharing Sunday Soup with us!
Anthony Sunday Soup List - May 4th, 2008 to April 26th, 2009
1. May 4th, 2008 – Chilli
2. May 11th, 2008 – Vegetable
3. May 18th, 2008 – Thai Coconut with Tofu
4. May 25th, 2008 – Potato Leek
5. June 1st, 2008 – Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Puree
6. June 8th, 2008 – Lentil Vegetable
7. June 15th, 2008 – Corn Chowder
8. June 22nd, 2008 – Tomato Orange
9. June 29th, 2008 – Roasted Garlic, Potato, & Red Pepper
10. July 6th, 2008 – Carrot & Coriander
11. July 13th, 2008 – Green Goddess Vegetable
12. July 20th, 2008 – Egg Drop
13. July 27th, 2008 – Curried Zucchini
14. August 3rd, 2008 – Onion
15. August 10th, 2008 – White Bean & Garlic
16. August 17th, 2008 – Cheesy Potato Chowder
17. August 24th, 2008 – Black Bean with Roasted Vegetable Stock
18. August 31st, 2008 – Lebanese Lentil
19. September 7th, 2008 – Cream of Kale
20. September 14th, 2008 – Barley Vegetable (The Southerner made this)
21. September 21st, 2008 – Cream Cheese Broccoli
22. September 28th, 2008 – Red Beans & Rice
23. October 5th, 2008 – Yellow Broth
24. October 12th, 2008 – Spinach & Bok Choy
25. October 19th, 2008 – Harvest Vegetable (lots of root veggies & squash)
26. October 26th, 2008 – Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Puree
27. November 2nd, 2008 – Roasted Potato & Mushroom
28. November 9th, 2008 – Sweet Corn with Cream Cheese
29. November 16th, 2008 – Split Pea with Tofurky Sausage
30. November 23rd, 2008 – Seven Bean
31. November 30th – Squash & Rice with Apple (scrapped and replaced with emergency stand-by Potato Leek)
32. December 7th, 2008 – Minestrone
33. December 14th, 2008 – Red Lentil
34. December 21st, 2008 – White Bean, Sundried Tomato, and Spinach
35. December 28th, 2008 – Cream of Vegetable Puree
36. January 4th, 2009 – Broccoli and Toasted Almond
37. January 11th, 2009 – Baked Potato with Cheese
38. January 18th, 2009 – Cream of Spinach (at Mum & Dad’s)
39. January 25th, 2009 – Sweet Potato
40. February 1st, 2009 – Lentil Barley
41. February 8th, 2009 – Tortilla Soup
42. February 15th, 2009 – Burnt Quinoa, replaced with Cream of Cauliflower
43. February 22nd, 2009 – Red Pepper Orange with Ricotta Dumplings
44. March 1st, 2009 – Parsnip Potato
45. March 8th, 2009 – Yellow Split Pea
46. March 15th, 2009 – Carrot Turnip
47. March 22nd, 2009 – Mushroom Barley
48. March 29th, 2009 – Roasted Veggie Puree
49. April 5th, 2009 – Sundried Tomato Lentil
50. April 12th, 2009 – Black & White Bean
51. April 19th, 2009 – Pinto Bean
52. April 26th, 2009 – Virginia Peanut Sundae Soup

If you want to learn how to make this wonderful flourless chocolate cake that I made for The Fleece Lady for her birthday, drop by my website (and scroll down a bit).

Happy Sunday to you all. And thank you so much for being part of our lives. We are truly blessed. Eat well!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Missing: One Southern Gentleman

Today's Sunday Soup was super crowded, but everyone noticed right away that The Southerner was missing. They're a sharp crowd, our friends. He was feeling a bit under the weather, so at 4pm, we did a house swap and The Neighbour came over here and he went to her house and slept on her couch with her kitty (don't tell our cats). He was missed, but is feeling a bit better now, although I expect he'll be taking it easy for at least a few days.

The soup was a pinto bean Mexican type thing that I totally made up on Friday night. There were two main factors involved in choosing this week's soup. One: I could make it without having to go to the store. Two: All I had to do was open my cupboard. Okay, I know those are the same things, but two reasons sounds better than one. This is a very simple soup. I don't have any measurements, but if you want to make it, I'm sure you can figure it out.

Cooked pinto beans (don't use canned, you'll need too many cans and they taste gross) and their liquid.
Canned tomatoes
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (actually, I just used the sauce)
Taco seasoning
Salt & Pepper

Cook the beans. Take 2/3 of them and put them in a big pot with some water and blend with an immersion blender. Add the canned tomatoes, some frozen corn, and the rest of the cooked beans and the cooking liquid and as much water as you want to make your soup the consistency you're hoping for. Add the seasonings and adobo sauce. Simmer. Best let it sit overnight for the flavours to meld.

The bread was even easier than the soup because we didn't have any! I just opened some corn tortilla chips. Oh, and I served cheese and chives with the soup.

If you're wondering why I took such an easy route this week, it's because I am on a very tight deadline for my book, I am running out of ideas for soup (thank goodness next week makes 52 and then I am free to make repeats since one year of new soups was my goal), and yesterday was my birthday and I didn't feel like spending it in the kitchen.

I did spend today in the kitchen though and made a lovely chocolate-rhubarb-raspberry cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting and then offered it up as "leftover birthday cake". The Realtor brought two new-to-the-island people and a strawberry rhubarb pie (he knows what I like!) too, so there was a lot of dessert.

We had some guests we hadn't seen in a while, as well as a lot of the regular crowd. All in all, even without The Southerner, we had twelve people, plus me, and the cats so it was practically a party!

Next week is the 52 week of Sunday Soup. At one time, before I knew I'd be on a deadline, I had intended to do all kinds of cool things to celebrate, like have door prizes, and make three or four soups, and ask everyone to bring their own soups to swap with each other, and, and...

Well, anyway, that is not going to happen because I don't have time to organize anything except my book this week. However, you still want to come next week if you can. And I'll give you a hint why. Okay, ready? Here's your hint:

Sundae Soup

Yep, that's your hint. Now aren't you curious? I thought so. While the whole point of SS is for y'all to be able to drop in without saying whether you're coming or not, if you know you're coming, and you want to let us know this week, it would be appreciated. I want to make sure that I have enough soup for the masses! If you're not sure, no biggie. Feel free to drop in. I will make sure I have lots.

Also, to celebrate one year of SS, we will be collecting canned soup for the food bank, so here's your chance to "bring something" if you want. Totally optional.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fifty Soups - Black & White Bean Soup

Today marked the fiftieth Sunday Soup. So the question becomes, do we "celebrate" one year the week we reach 52, or is the anniversary the first weekend in May since our first one was the first Sunday in May? I'm kind of voting for a celebration of sorts in May because I'm on a big deadline for my book. I have to turn in this round of edits by April 30th. We'll be lucky to get soup for Week 52 at all! Maybe The Southerner will make it.

Today, to help me out, The Southerner did make corn bread. The soup was Black & White Bean Soup. I made it up, so I think I'll include the recipe here so that I have a record of it. You might want to try it too. It's yummy. This makes close to 9 quarts, so make sure you have a lot of hungry people.

4 stalks of celery - diced small
4 carrots - diced small
1 onion - diced small
6 quarts of light coloured vegetable stock
3 cups dried white beans - around 6 cups cooked
2 cups dried black beans - around 4 cups cooked
Olive oil
salt & pepper

To make a light vegetable stock, I just used carrot peelings, onions ends and peelings, and a bit of celery, water, salt. Bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes or so. Strain.

In a large pan, saute for just a few minutes carrots, celery, and onion in some olive oil and a glob of butter. Season with rosemary and thyme, s&p. You want your vegetables to still be quite firm so they don't turn to mush in your soup. Set aside.

Add about half of the WHITE beans to the stock, puree with a hand blender. You can skip this step if you want, but it thickens it just a little bit, which is nice. Then add the rest of the WHITE beans and the veggies. Simmer until the veggies are cooked through.

Rinse the cooked black beans really well. The water should run clear. If you skip the rinse, your soup will turn blue-ish-purple-ish and your white beans will turn grey. Blech! Add them to the soup. Season with salt & pepper and're done!

I made a lot of soup because of how we emptied the pot last week. We had eight people, including two new-to-the-island people. We made a pretty serious dent in it, but there's still some left. I think this might be one of my more favourite soups. I like how light it is, but the beans give it a bit of body.

The Fleece Lady brought my favourite raw vegetable dip AND she brought some just to put in my fridge for us for later! Yippee! Score! In fact, The Fleece Lady and The Fix-it Guy had us over for breakfast this morning, so we ate very well today. We did learn one important lesson though...if you're going to someone's house for breakfast on a Sunday, you should probably clean the house on Saturday. When we got home well after noon, we had to scurry. Thank goodness The Southerner could also go by the nickname, Cleans Fast Under Pressure. Of course, he's a's probably in his genes! I guess that means my alternate nickname is Lucky Girl.

Until next week...Eat Well!

P.S. I finally moved the old live journal blog over to this blog, so the entire year is here for your entertainment. I will be posting a list of the entire year in soup pretty soon too.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Early Bird Gets the Soup!

We have a first!!!! This is the first time that we have officially run out of soup. And we didn't run out at a quarter seven. Nope! We ran out at 5:55pm. Yes, really! And considering no one came until about 4:30pm, that's pretty amazing. I didn't even get to set aside a container for my grandma (sorry, Grandma!) before it was gone!

It's true that my pot was not filled to the brim, but I had about 7 quarts, which is still quite a bit. And it was a Sundried Tomato and Lentil Soup that was much more like a hearty stew so I kind of expected it to go further, although the recipe did say "serves 10" and we had more than that.

The Librarian gave me a cookbooklet from Vancouver's Commercial Drive last week and the recipe came from that book. It's a specialty at Pane Vero Bakery and Cafe. This was an excellent recipe and I followed it almost to the letter. I used regular parsley instead of flat leaf and that's about the only change I made. It was extremely delicious!

We had a full house today too, and everyone brought hearty appetites because the weather was nice and so they'd all been working outside in their gardens all day. I think there were 11 guests plus myself and The Southerner. The bread was a nice Irish Soda Herb bread, which I've made before, but this time I left out the currants . We voted last time and thought that while it tasted fine with currants, it was an odd combination with soup.

Those who missed my homemade mozzarella cheese last week, were wowed and amazed by the butter I made this week! If you know how to make butter, shhhhh....don't tell...Everyone thinks I'm a whiz in the kitchen now. Although someone did ask, "Where do you keep the cow?" Alas, no cow, only deer, and while they like me enough to eat out of my hands, I've never heard of anyone milking a deer and I'm not going to be the first one to try that.

I guess with the nice weather we will start getting more people to Sunday Soup. Also, we know more people than we did nearly a year ago when we started it (thanks to SS!). I might have to invest in another pot for back-up soup for the summer. Luckily, The Southerner's cracked ribs are healing nicely and he's been back in the garden, so in a few months, he'll be bringing home produce for me to turn into soup.

So today's lesson is: If you are coming for "the hang" as The Southerner says, "fall by the house any Sunday between 4pm-7pm", but if you're coming for the soup, "Get here early!"

Here's the butter!