Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's Uneasy Being Green

This soup was just a little too green for Cranky.
He ate it, and said he liked the flavor. The color, he could live with, although he called it Soylent Bean. But he wished one thing had been done differently: He's not as fond of blended soups as I am.
When we first heard about Ilva's spinach and white bean soup, we both drooled. But only I actually read her blog, so I knew that it was a velvety purée. Cranky assumed it was a chunky, beany brew. That's just the way he thinks; he likes food you can use a fork on.
Once we talked it over, though, he agreed to give it a try.
Oh. And we agreed to substitute arugula (rucola, rocket) for the spinach. We had to. The garden is holding us hostage, and there are daily prison-yard riots in the arugula patch. Armed with machetes and a stainless-steel bowl, we hacked back much of the unruly foliage and softened it in a skillet with oil and garlic.
Meanwhile, beans from Rancho Gordo simmered in a pot. Homemade local vegetable stock from last summer got a good thawing in the microwave.
Then, bam! Drain the beans, put in blender with cooked greens and garlic, add broth and whiz until smooth.
Finish with salt, smoked paprika and drizzles of olive oil.
You will fall in love with the texture of the soup, even if you were expecting chunks.
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about that green color. Sunglasses?


Zoomie said...

It would be interesting to try it Cranky's way, too, for a different texture but the same flavors. It _is_ pretty darn green!

Anita said...

I think it's gorgeous, but then I am famous for my vibrant-green soups. And I like the creaminess, too... although it can make presenation a challenge.

Next time, send Cranky to Chili's and call us -- we'll help you eat the Soylent Bean :D

Maia Averett said...

I'm so with you on the smoothly pureed soups! Mmm.. silky smooth. Though you're right, this one is quite bright green! I just made a peach and tomato gazpacho that was pureed and forced through a sieve, and oh man, it was to.die.for! It had some color issues too (..cantaloupe?), but I thought it was beautiful.

sfmike said...

I'm with Cranky. That's scareeee, and looks a bit, well, algae-ish.

Can I still have some of your fabulous pears?

KathyF said...

Tell Cranky if he orders vegetable soup here, it will likely be pureed. Just a warning.

Dagny said...

Seeing that photo, all I can think of is Kermit's song "It's Not Easy Being Green." I'm with Cranky. Chunks are good.

El said...

Can I ask, is your arugula a big oak-leafy type or a skinny leafy type? And flowers: white or yellow? The former is a tamed variety, the latter a more fire-y wild one. Curious minds...

Sam said...

you think that green is ugly you should have seen the sorrel soup i made last night.

It was almost 10pm and I had been so busy researching something special on the internet that I had forgotten about dinner. We agreed to have toast and charcuterie but when I opened the fridge I found a bunch of sorrel I knew would go to waste if i didn't use it now.

So I made 5 minute soup and it was brilliant and delicious for no effort. Sorrel is such an easy vegetable to work with because it has so much goodness and deep lemony flavour - it withers in a little knob of butter to a mush in seconds, add a cup of stock and salt bring to boil, take off heat, add dash of half and half or whatever dairy you have in fridge , liquidise and eat. Soup from start to finish in 5 minutes - I know you would love that one. All it needs is a dash of pepper.

5 minute soup, eat your heart out Mark Bittman.

Ilva said...

You two are the best! Thanks xxooxx! But what's wrong with green??! It's beautiful!

katiez said...

Both my spinach soup and my lettuce soup are that shade - I think it's gorgeous!
To the best of my knowledge all soups are pureed here... A friend made 'Scoth Broth' for us one night, chock full of lamb, potatoes, carrots, etc. It looked wonderful...then she got out the stick blender and pureed the whole lot! I was speechless... which is a rare condition for me...

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Yeah, it would be a little more like caldo verde... And then he'd be wanting to add chorizo.

Anita: Soup IS green, sez I. (Pureed beans plus oil = creaminess. Almost dairy in your mouth. Magic.)

Maia: Oh, peaches in your gazpacho? Oh, that is da bomb. I'm currently exploring the idea of pears in gazpacho. Thank you.

SFMike: Yes.

KathyF: I'm a knee-jerk puree-er. As are you, I gather. Come on over.

Dagny: I figure I could work up a chunky soup for you both... :-)

El: White flowers. Coming in daily; I'm so guilty of going out there and thwarting its reproductive urges with a clipper... :(
Anyway, yes, big, oaky leaves. But they do get some oomph here because of the constant sun. Peppery, walnutty flavor.

Sam: I don't think I've ever cooked at 10 p.m. Brava! Your soup (khaki in color, I'm assuming) sounds so nice. I have sorrel in a pot; we're almost due to harvest. Soup! Glorious soup.

Ilva: It was... "assertive." Thank you for your encouragement, and for the suggestion in the first place. You might even have liked this. :D

Katie: I'm howling! Pureed Scotch broth! I bet it was great.

dancingmorganmouse said...

That soup is the bomb - we've had it too and tis luvly!

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: You've had it too? Cool. It'll be a new item in my repertoire.