Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Damn you!

Do you ever feel that 'blenderized' soups are somewhat of a cheat? I mean, you can basically just boil pretty much anything to death, add some spices if you like, maybe some cream, and blend it. One could even use a handheld blender and do it right in the pot. Bam. Is it irrational to feel that this is in some way cheating? No! No, I say to you, reader, it is not irrational! When making a soup, one important consideration is cooking all the ingredients to the correct degree of doneness; namely, not overcooked. In a soup this is challenging if you are making a soup with multiple ingredients. Potatoes and spinach have different simmering times. But if you are assuming a final BLEND, then it really doesn't matter, does it? Go ahead, overcook that squash! irregularly mince that garlic! Who's gonna know?? And if it doesn't taste perfect at the end, hey, add a little cream, a little parmesan, swirl some creme fraiche in the serving bowl. Go nuts and throw in some croutons!
Ok, maybe I am getting curmudgeonly with the croutons. But you see where I'm coming from? The 'blenderizing' is essentially another Rachel-Ray-school-of-shortcuts, and I am having none of it!
Although I suppose there is a culinary tradition, particularly in French cooking, of smooth pureed soups. Why does a food mill seem so much more dignified? Somehow, a labor-intensive metal device seems to imply that no shortcuts have been taken here, that this soup, were you to have tasted it in its lumpen unmilled state, would be accurately cooked. A food mill pays homage to it's passengers, if that's the word I want. It isn't. But you know what I mean.
A Nice Healthy Soup
Fry a whole head of chopped garlic in some olive oil. Add 5 cups water and 4 cups chicken stock (which had BETTER be homemade). Add a head of chopped washed chard, another of spinach, a bunch of sorrel, and 4 chopped yukon gold potatoes. Salt, pepper, simmer for 25 minutes. Add a half cup of cream. Blend in small batches till smooth. Return to pot. Add 6 cubed yukon gold potatoes. Simmer for ten minutes. Add a large handful of ribboned spinach, juice of 1 lemon, and a splash of sherry if it's handy. Simmer five minutes and eat, yo!

1 comment:

Charley said...

I'm going to start trying all of your recipes as vegan dishes. This will be the first. Of course I have to figure out how to make vegetable stock, which probably involves lots of celery.