Thursday, October 8, 2009

EDF practice

There's another Eating Down the Fridge Challenge running this week. I really would have liked to participate again; I had a lot of fun with the one I did in March, and surprised myself with some of the things I came up with. But I'm in the opposite mode this week: I'm going to Singapore for a work conference on Saturday, so I'm focusing on Stocking Up the Fridge with stuff for DP and Miss B to eat next week while the chief cook is out of the kitchen. I did an impromptu mini-EDF exercise on Sunday though, after our plans for the day changed for the third time and I found myself with a) an afternoon at home alone to get through a mountain of chores and work, and b) nothing planned for dinner, since I had been expecting that we'd be out.

I didn't want to waste any of my precious afternoon going to the supermarket, so I resolved to work with what I had in the house. Running true to form, I started off thinking that the cupboard was bare, but when I made a list of "proteins," "starches," and "vegetables," I found that I had six or seven items on hand. In each category. After fantasizing about several ridiculously elaborate, seasonally inappropriate, or ultimately unappetizing possibilities, I settled on a meal that was nutritionally complete*, appealing on yet another chilly, rainy day (unlike the all-salad meal I flirted with briefly), likely to be consumed by everyone present (ditto), and doable within the hour of prep time I had allotted.

Creamy broccoli soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot
1 medium red onion
2 heads broccoli
4-6 cups water
1-2 tsp salt
¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper**
½-1 cup Greek yogurt***

Heat oil in a large stockpot. Chop all vegetables and add to the pot as you chop them in the order listed. Saute briefly. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until all vegetables are completely softened.

Remove pan from heat and puree soup using a stick blender**** (or in batches using a regular blender*****). When soup is pureed to your satisfaction, return to low heat and season to desired taste and consistency with salt, cayenne pepper, and yogurt.

Probably enough to serve 4-6 people as a main course.

* We had this with a cheese plate and homemade bread. I also topped the soup with croutons and pieces of fried prosciutto.
** This is really according to taste. I didn't want it spicy, but with just enough cayenne to give it some depth of flavor.
*** You could probably substitute any other kind of dairy, but you'll probably need more of anything else as Greek yogurt is so thick.
**** At this stage, you could remove some of the cooking liquid, and then add it back in if the puree is too thick. (I always forget to do this, and then scramble to thicken up the soup.)
***** Be careful not to burn yourself doing this, as I always do—yet another reason I love my stick blender.

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