Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frankenstein Soup

I'm back in the kitchen and I haven't lost my touch! As a matter of fact, I think my touch has improved. Have you ever wondered how in the heck Alton Brown, Bobby Flay or Rachel Ray could chop things up with a knife so fast without losing a finger? Well, I can chop just like them! Ahh...not really; however, I am starting to speed up and have figured out that if you keep the tip of the knife on the cutting board and push whatever it is you are chopping forward as you slice then things move along faster. It's such a pain in the tush to have to prep vegetables all the time so anything that makes this step go faster is a godsend. What really got me excited was my sudden recall of how to dice an onion quickly. I saw it on Master Chef with Gordon Ramsey, but he demonstrated it so fast it was almost a joke that he even showed anyone.

         So there I was chopping this onion for my experimental veggie soup, and bada-bing-bada-boom I slice it just right. A small victory to some...That's one small step for Steph, one giant leap towards cooking competence! I could have cried tears of joy, but it was just the sting from the onion. All I have to work with in my kitchen is a bunch of random vegetables, one of which is a parsnip. I have never cooked with a parsnip. I know it's used in soups so I thought it would be the perfect solution to my dinner dilemma to just throw everything in a pot. I sauteed my chopped veggies in a bit of oil with some onion and garlic. Seems like you can never go wrong with onions and garlic for adding flavor. I tossed in a bay leaf and rubbed some dry oregano between my fingers and sprinkled it in too.

         Oh yes, and I can't forget that I put a couple of tablespoons of red wine vinegar in and let it heat through before I added any water. A sprinkle of salt and 3 cups of water later I had a concoction that looked about right. Thank goodness I decided to make my vegetable broth out of my vegetable leavin's at the same time because the water started to reduce down even with the lid over the pot. Each time I would open the lid I had lost about a cup of water. The broth that I made this time had little bits of jalepeno pepper in it, so it came out a little bit spicy. Interesting...So a pinch of kosher salt, a grind of fresh pepper and 40 minutes on the timer. I like making meals that allow me to walk away and do other things while they cook. It gives me the illusion that I'm multi-tasking. :-)

My choppity veggeties.
         Ding! The timer goes off and I'm excited to try my Frankenstein soup! It's a little sweeter than I had expected it to be, possibly because I put in some tomato...and I'm pretty sure that parsnip has a sweetness to it too. The vinegar gives it a little bit of sour with the sweet, so looks like I've accidentally made sweet and sour soup with Italian seasoning. Don't get me wrong, it's yummy and I'm on my last few bites right now. Next time though I wont add the tomato and will put in more salt. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?


  1. Did you cook all the veggies at the same time? I learned, when making chicken soup, that carrots and celery tend to cook slower than chopped onion. That's all I have to add b/c I am no expert. In fact, I read this blog b/c I know you are more informed about cooking than me! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, all of the veggies were added at once...which I discovered was a mistake when they were all still in the bowl uncooked. I thought, "I'm not going to pick out all the onions and other faster cooking veggies now!" That's the fun of experimenting though. :-)