Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blue Soup

Blue Soup
Script Excerpt from Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget:  How's it look?
Mark:  Great.  It's, um. . .blue
Bridget:  Blue?
Mark:  No, but blue is good.  If you ask me there isn't enough blue food.

This is a story with a happy, even delicious, ending.
It began as part of yesterday's post:  A Robe By Any Other Name.

I told you that I spent all morning yesterday, OK, not exactly morning, but more precisely until just after lunch, in my bathrobe.  I've already chronicled my movements and just before going upstairs to "get ready for the day. . .OK, what was left of the day" I wanted to rinse the beans and start the 3.5 hrs. of simmering called for on the soup package.  The Soup Saga began Tuesday evening with the prerequisite overnight soaking of the bean mixture.  This soup recipe is a little like the shampoo instructions:  rinse and repeat.  I rinsed the beans, added fresh water and turned up the heat.  Within 3 hours the aroma of soup and ham shank infused the whole house.  I went to the stove to remove the lid and gaze at the fruit of my labors only to find the wonderful mouth watering fragrance emanating from a blue concoction filling my soup pot.  The last time I saw something that color it was the water draining out of my washing machine when I had accidentally washed a brand new pair of dark denim jeans in hot water.

I'm not a great cook.

Bobby Flay in his Star Trek uniform
Ina Garten 'The Barefoot Contessa'
Martha Stewart Herself
The one, the only, Julia Child

It's never "how easy is that?".
It's not "a good thing".
I'd never even open the door to a 'Throwdown".

And "Bon Appetit" just isn't something I'm prone to say when serving family or guests.

My friend Patty and I describe ourselves as Utility Chefs.  We get the job done, but there's not much art in it.

Think Cafeteria Ladies minus the Fish Sticks and you're closer to an accurate description.

There is always a certain amount of performance anxiety when I step into the kitchen.  My Mom is a terrific cook. My daughter is a terrific cook.  Ditto for my daughter-in-laws and my granddaughter.

I'm a genetic anomaly.

Even with the Internet availability of millions of recipes I am not a natural in the kitchen unless you're talking about cleaning it up.  Then I rock.

                                                  I felt like I was in a bad I Love Lucy episode.
                                                                     Seriously, blue soup.

I have never seen Ina, or any famous chef make blue soup.

Yellow/Orange soup, yes
Bright Green Soup, yes

Even Hot Pink soup, but never blue.

To complicate matters my husband had pulled a Jeffrey and came strolling down the hall from his office aka:  the man cave, to ask what smelled so good.  I slammed the lid back on the pot and said, "It's a surprise".

Images of old war movies flashed across my synapses.

Airplanes about to crash on the deck of aircraft carriers and someone yelling pull up! pull up!

Memories of crumbling pie crust and cardboard pot roast flooded back and I could literally feel my cortisol levels rising.

Then I remembered the shampoo bottle directions:  rinse and repeat.

I dumped it all in the colander and rinsed until the water ran clear.  I added bottled water in case it had been some weird  Municipal Water District event.  I added sautéed onions, carrots, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaf.  For good measure I also added a can of stewed tomatoes.

And voila, no more blue soup.  I felt positively triumphant.

Oh yeah, the soup was excellent.  Turns out beans, and there are about 10 kinds in this mix, are high in fiber, iron, and flavor.

 PS  The Ham Shank was very meaty and may have contributed to the overall yumminess.

Still no clue as to the origin of the blue.


1 comment:

  1. The soup was TERRIFIC! I gobbled up a whole bowl and I would have done just the same if it had been blue! Whether you're Ina, Julia or Mrs Cafeteria Cook those mishaps just happen in the kitchen. You'll never forget them either... and that's "a good thing!"

    xoxo Amma,