Saturday, January 12, 2008

Winter, Actually

I love soup.
Sometimes I think that must make me a simpleton. Soup is sick-room food. Soup is just a bowl of wet flavors. Soup is so easy.
Well. I still love soup.
Cranky and I went for a meal at a nearby restaurant known for beef, mainly, but the acclaimed chef-owner (he's rarely on the premises, I suspect) also loves soup. He wrote a whole cookbook on soup.
I've flipped through the cookbook, unable to convince myself I need to buy it. For one thing, some of the recipes are so rarefied: complex, unnecessary, yadda yadda. For another thing, I know how to make soup.
But there I was at this meaty restaurant, and I ordered the soup. We both did.
God, it was beautiful, like the top of a chocolate cake. It was black bean "bisque," brightened with hot flavors and so silky smooth, it was surely passed though a chinoise.
See, now, that's probably something I wouldn't do at home. But this soup was So Silky Smooth... I might.

26 comments:

fastgrowtheweeds.com said...

So, supertaster: did you detect essence of ham hock? Almost a must with black beans. But gawd how pretty. Of course my immediate reaction (other than oh how pretty) was "nice but I wouldn't do that at home." But why not, we have to ask ourselves? Dang. Get out the cheesecloth.

cook eat FRET said...

i forget about soup. then i make some and it's like wow,,, i love soup. thick soups, almost stew-like... heidi at 101 recently did a lentil version with a saffron yogurt. i made it and loved it. easy. wonderful. healthy. pimentin gets it smokey and then i throw a poached egg on top...

soon it will read

cookie + soup = 4 ever

just watch...

tammy said...

That's what I thought when I first saw the pic. Mmmmm, chocolate cake soup.

dancingmorganmouse said...

We're having potato, lentil & orange soup with saffron tonight, I LOVE soup, Sunday is nearly always soup night.

kudzu said...

Yes, I also rhought it was the top of a chocolate birthday cake. Beautiful.

Don't buy that book: I'll give you my (review) copy when next we meet.

kudzu said...

Yes, I also rhought it was the top of a chocolate birthday cake. Beautiful.

Don't buy that book: I'll give you my (review) copy when next we meet.

chilebrown said...

Soup is so kool. I made Brocolli Cheddar,Bacon(Redmond,Or.)and Love.
I shouted out to the Biggles Clan to make the market early tommorow morning. I know Cranky will be there.!!

cookiecrumb said...

Fast: Hey, El. No flavor of ham in the soup. I think it's kind of a Latino thing. When we lived in Florida (so close to Cuba) there was never meat in the black beans.
But yeah. Dang. Get out the cheesecloth. :D

ceF: Don't forget about soup. It's lifeblood. And yes, I made a version of Heidi's lentil soup the other day. The blogosphere was electric with lentil soups all of a sudden, and I fell for it, and wait. Poached egg on top?

Tammy: I wonder if I might like chocolate cake soup. For dessert, you understand. Yes, I think I might.

Morgan: Having a tree full of ripe oranges, I have been throwing orange flavors into just about everything. I like your idea.

Kudzu: I ain't buying the book. xxx

Chilebrown: Oh, that sounds like such an American soup. Yum.
See you at the market tomorrow, and all you other wusses are invited! 8 a.m. or thereabouts.

Zoomie said...

That's beautiful - what a great way to present an otherwise boring-looking soup. Bet it tasted great, too!

chilebrown said...

We have a date. I am picking up the "Biggles Party" bright and early. "Black Bart" is going to be fired up and ready! Are You?

dancingmorganmouse said...

Cookie, I must be honest here and say it's not my idea at all, tis the lovely Ilva's!
I'll show off a bit though, and say I did come up with the idea of adding orange marmalade to pumpkin soup, mmmmmm.

Beccy said...

When I first saw your photo I thought chocolate soup, it's beautiful and sounds good too.

One Food Guy said...

I love black bean soup, and that soup you had looks like art. I wish I had a hot bowl of black bean soup right now...mmmmm mmmmm

peter said...

I push all my puréed soup through a tamis these days. It takes a few extra minutes, but the texture is absolutely worth it: velvet (black velvet in the case of your soup.)

Anonymous said...

if soup makes me a wet simpleton well so be it! at this time of the year there is no finer meal. btw, the black bean soup at Joe's Taco Lounge in MV is addictive!
-Jeanne Bee
www.worldonaplate.org

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: It was rather good, yes. And with that little dab of (out-of-season) salsa in the middle, it was a joy to eat.

Chilebrown: Did Biggles buy anything at all at the market? Funny Guy.

Morgan: Aha, yes, that was one of the many lentil soup recipes fluttering about the blogosphere; I remember reading it on Ilva's blog. (Pumpkin and marmalade? You win.)

Beccy: It does sort of put your brain in a funny spot. You're eating soup, not cake. I might go so far as to say the decoration was too-too, but the brain-warp part was half the fun.

One Food Guy: How can your wish not come true? Don't you have a sack of black beans in the pantry? Go, make something up!! :-)

Peter: I have a dinky strainer that has the right gauge holes, but I guess a tamis would hold more and make faster work of the job. OK, gifty time!

Jeanne: Oh, I do love Joe's Taco Lounge black bean soup. I've eaten gallons of it, but I haven't been to the restaurant since Joe died (eek!). Today I'm making tomato soup from frozen bounty. Hi, Jeanne!

peter said...

Absolutely- get a silicone spatula thingy (with a curved side and a straight side, and no handle) and you can work anything hot or cold through it in a jiffy. Just be sure to wash it (the tamis) right away so it doesn't get all gunky and clogged.
After that, you can start practicing your crème fraiche-fork mandala technique...

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: OK! Hey, you're scarin' me, man. But inspiring me too. I will definitely go there. It's all about the velvet. Swoon.

One Food Guy said...

I do have some black beans in my pantry, how did you know?! ;)

Stacie said...

oh, ya gotta strain! but you can throw that "waste" on the compost pile!! sooo beautiful! do people stare at you when you photograph your food in public?

peter said...

You'll wonder why the hell you haven't been doing it all along.
(You could purée the Sunday Times and then strain it and it wouldn't be half bad.)

VELVET! You can dress it up, you can dress it down, it goes with everything...

kudzu said...

Hurrah for the frozen tomato bounty: green, red, mixed. Time to flaunt them, and soup is one of the best ways. Also time to get back to Joe's Taco Lounge. (Hot sauces all around remind me of Biggles!).

sfmike said...

Happy birthday, Cranky Early Social Security Birthday Dude.

cookiecrumb said...

One Food Guy: Of course you do, darling. We all do. :D

Stacie: Well, you know what a strain-o-phobic I've been. But if you say compost pile, I say strain! Win-win.

Peter: I'll spend a little of my Christmas money. =)

Kudzu: Huge, vast difference between the black bean soups at the two venues, primarily a difference in texture. And yeah, I'm puttin' on my overalls and heading back to Joe's. Bless his heart.

SFMike: Use it or lose it, huh?

KathyF said...

I wonder if I put black beans in my juicer if I'd end up with that lovely soup?

cookiecrumb said...

KathyF: As in super-straining it? Might be worth a try, but I'd be afraid it would come out too thin. Hmm.