I'm on a soup mission lately. Soup is so economical, filling, easy to make, easy to transport to work for lunch, easy to stow away in the freezer for a quick meal in the future, easy to love.
First up: Tomato.
I'd never had homemade tomato soup before I made this tonight. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but I'm happy to say that I was impressed with the depth of flavor such a simple soup managed to produce.
I used whole canned tomatoes for this and halfway through the tedious chopping and seeding of them I realized I could have just used diced instead and saved myself at least 5 minutes. Perhaps I would have noticed a slight difference with pre-diced tomatoes that were not lovingly chopped by my bare hands, but I'm willing to bet the soup would be just as good. The main idea is that you want small chunks of tomatoes in the soup as an end result.
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it uses cilantro stems, which I always end up throwing away due to a lack of knowing what to do with them. Their flavor is surprisingly subtle and a perfect combination: it had me wondering why I've never had tomato soup with cilantro before.
Tomato Soup with Red Onion and Cilantro Stems
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, April 1995www.marthastewart.com/recipe/best-spicy-tomato-soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro stems, cut into ½-inch lengths
¼ of a poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes (whole canned tomatoes OR diced/chopped canned tomatoes)
Juice of ½ fresh lime
Optional: Sour cream, for serving
Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cilantro stems, and poblano, and stir well.
If you're using whole tomatoes
: Strain the tomatoes, and add the juice to the saucepan. Seed the tomatoes, chop them coarsely, and add them to the pan as well.If you're using diced tomatoes
: empty the entire can into the saucepan.
Add 2 cups water, and stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the lime juice. Then taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream if you like.
Yield: 4 servings
“The next few decades aren’t going to look like the last few - not at all. And the sooner we come to terms with that, the better. This documentary is a good place to start.”
-Bill McKibben author of ‘The End of Nature’
This film was just featured at the Woodstock Film Festival and I was lucky enough to see one of the screenings. I can't say enough good things about it. Granted, I'm very biased -- two very dear friends of mine made the film -- but some less biased people have wonderful things to say about it too. You can (and should) check the film out here: http://www.blindspotdoc.com/
and it can be purchased here: http://www.filmbaby.com/films/3368
find some reviews here: http://www.thefilmpanelnotetaker.com/2008/10/woodstock-film-festival-blind-spot-oct.html#linkshttp://blogs.timesunion.com/movies/?p=244
(scroll down a bit and look for "Blind Spot")
I made this a few days ago and it was great! lots of chopping, but well worth it. i ate it with brown rice but i would have loved it with either naan or poori as well.
i lifted the recipe from orangette.com. all of the commentary below is hers.
Spiced Eggplant with Peas and Yogurt
Adapted from Food & Wine, March 2005
When choosing eggplant, be sure to look for firm, shiny specimens, with skin that looks like patent leather. To try to get ones with the fewest seeds possible - the seeds can lead to bitterness - you might check the small spot on the blossom end, the end opposite the stem. From what I’ve heard, eggplants with a dimple or indentation on the blossom end can tend to have more seeds, whereas the ones with a flatter (or more outwardly pointed) end tend to have fewer. I have also found that the heavier and rounder an eggplant is, the more seeds it tends to have. But if you get one that tastes bitter, don’t worry: just try adding extra garam masala or some good curry powder (and even a pinch of sugar) while cooking, to sweeten and deepen its flavor.
Also, since tomatoes aren’t great right now, consider using some cherry tomatoes instead of the three medium tomatoes called for below. Cherry tomatoes tend to be tastier in the winter than their full-size cousins. You’ll want about a scant pint of cherry tomatoes for this.
3 large eggplants (about 3 ½ lb.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded (or not) and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. turmeric
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
¾ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 - ½ cup whole-milk plain yogurt
Salt, to taste
Garam masala, for serving
Preheat the oven to 500° F. Put the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet, and pierce them all over with a paring knife. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the skins are blackened and the flesh feels very soft when pressed. Set aside to cool slightly. Then slice them open lengthwise and, using a spoon, scrape the flesh from the skin onto a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the flesh coarsely. (This part can be done a day or so ahead, if you like. Refrigerate the prepared eggplant in a covered container.)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (12”) skillet. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle and pop, about 10 seconds. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and beginning to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add the jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and stir well. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika and turmeric, and cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant, stir to combine, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the peas, and cook to warm through. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the cilantro, yogurt, and salt.
Serve hot or warm, sprinkled with garam masala.
this salad is so simple it's brilliant and it's by far one of the most refreshing things i've ever eaten, and i'm not even that huge a fan of raw carrots. apparently it's very popular in france. it's great on a plate next to a sandwich, or even alone as a snack.
1 lb. carrots
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/8 tsp. pressed or crushed garlic
First, make sure you have some quality carrots. Taste them before you make the salad, and if they're bitter or weird tasting (as carrots can sometimes be), you're not going to want to use them for this salad. I usually have good luck with organic carrots.
Rinse and dry the carrots, and trim away their ends. If you have a mandoline (or food processor that can julienne), now's the time to break it out. you'll want to use the julienne blade and cut the carrots into matchsticks. my mandoline is pathetic, so i just used a vegetable peeler to cut them into long ribbons.
Put the julienned carrots in a medium bowl, and toss them well with the lemon juice. Add the oil, salt, and garlic, and toss again to mix well. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.
You can leave the garlic out (I did today, cause the stuff we have is overwhelmingly strong) and it's still really tasty. You can also just cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the inside of the bowl with it, which will give you a subtle garlic taste.
pudding that comes to your home in a powdered, packaged form ready for assembly scares me. this takes a little longer, but you probably already have half of the ingredients and it's extremely simple to make.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1997
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the rice, water, and salt. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add the milk and sugar, and stir to mix. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice and milk have come together into a creamy, amalgamated porridge. Don't overcook it, or it will get too solid upon cooling. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the vanilla extract. Stir well. Scoop the pudding into a serving bowl or individual cups, and press a sheet of plastic wrap against its surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill. Or eat warm. It's delicious.
Your Score: More Scientific
85% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and
70% EMOTIONAL INTUITION
| The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and well above average on scientific intuition.Your scientific intuition is stronger than your emotional intuition. |
Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake.
Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.
Try my other test!
The 3 Variable Funny Test
thank you to every one who has made my birthday amazing. every phone call, text message, email, and gift is SO appreciated.
i spent my day driving around, gambling a small amount of money away frivolously, spending time with my good friend aemongalatea
and eating dinner and cake with my family. it's been a good, calm day. and i got lots of presents!! the most amazing, by far, was from aemon, who painted me this:
(painting posted without permission. hopefully that's ok. if not, i'll take it down :P)
it's the most beautiful subject rendered by the most talented painter. what more could i want? it's really quite stunning. the photo doesn't do it justice.
amanda also gave me something to festoon my walls with when she came up during christmas. a print of this photo, which is one of my absolute favorites of hers:
(also posted without permission. yell at me and i'll take it down.)
you can see more of amanda's work at http://www.amandazackem.com and as soon as aemon's website is up and running, i'll link to that. i'm so lucky to have such generous and talented friends. gifts like these mean so much to me. i can't even explain.
thank you again to everyone who has made my birthday wonderful.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.
"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.article here
i woke up to find candy in my shoe! happy saint nicholas day!
Poem in Which Time Is Portrayed as an Old Woman
Cradling a decanter—
cut sapphire crystal—
my grandmother would pour sherry,
rosining my vocal cords.
She’d paint calamine
like milk across red welts
of poison sumac on my skin.
I was twelve and out of school
when Jazz would drop
on the console stereo
and the needle fell into the groove
Music jingled through the hall
as I lay in bed
and hands slid down my neck
like fingers on the banisters.
Now when I walk
on floral carpets,
past fleur-de-lis covered walls,
I find that hugging her
is like grasping a vase of lilacs,
stems thin and brittle,
that we’re teetering on the rim
of an old L.P. And all I hear
is the warning groove
at record’s end
ticking off and on
like steady breathing
as if she’s asking to be turned
to the other side.