Friday, April 03, 2020

experimental soup

Cooking is like math, chemistry and art all put together.  And, as long as you don't have someone relying on your mastery of the dish to get them through today - it can be fun to experiment.  And of course, if you actually try to eat your failures.. or have someone who will (I have six hounds).

But, on that point, I also know I'm probably not too far off base when the hounds show up at my feet towards the end of the cooking.  They have expectant eyes and say: 'I smelled that from upstairs.  You're gonna share, right?'

Well, I might.  It really depends on how weird it is.
Their idea that something can be tried to be eaten three times (And come back up) before you count it as failed isn't something I want to trifle with.

On the other hand, I pretty much know my own taste buds and stomach aren't going to end up in a cleanup crew.

Yesterday's experimental soup was a pretty good success.  It wasn't too weird.  It was just green peas, onions and an addition of zante currants.  I ran it all through the blender after a good long slow boil, and it was pretty normal.  I couldn't really taste the currants.  But, for vitamins and minerals sake, I know it wasn't a bad idea at all.

Today, I got away with myself.

I thought - what else can I do with onions, to make it different?
We're in 'self-isolation' social distancing, so I can't just run to the store - I'm limited to what I find in my cupboards and refrigerator.

The dogs still showed up towards the end, but I think I'll reserve this one for my own eating!

Walnut Cherry onion soup

2 small onions, chopped
1 cube chicken boullion
water to 3/4 of the saucepan full
2 tbsp real buitter

I let that all simmer and boil together for a while - nothing special at all.. onion broth.  Then I  started with the spices.

celery seed, about twice what I normally do
black pepper, a good amount
some ground coriander, a little
some paprika, about 1/8 tsp (covers the opposite end of my actual soup spoon)
A shake of turmeric
some caraway seed (what was I thinking?)

taste it.. well not quite nice but not awful... verging on awful, probably wouldn't eat it on purpose.

So - what to do, what to do.. poke through the rest of the spices.. look at the canned vegetables.. taste the soup again, think about what could counterbalance the caraway seed....

Grab a handful of walnuts from the freezer, grind them up in the little grinder, add some broth, grind again, add to soup.  OK, that helped some, but not enough.  Add a tablespoon of walnut oil from the cupboard.  Still about the same, oilier.. still okay

THINK about everything else that I actually have on hand right now.
And then I found the unopened maraschino cherries in the fridge.  Good through 2021.  Well, it's about time to open them, isn't it?  I took out about seven cherries, de-stemmed them and chopped them up with my knife.  They went in the soup.

Let that all cook for a few minutes, taste the soup.  Getting there.
Take out my cup blender and run the entire soup through it (that is dangerous, btw, you have to do it bit by bit and be careful not to splash yourself with hot soup.. I don't recommend it for anyone who can't take extreme care... it's better than handling chemicals in chemistry class, though.. so I just run with it).

Taste the soup.
Look down at my knee.
Minerva has arrived.  She wants soup.
The smell of blending the last things together brought her trotting down the stairs.  She's still not getting  much...she got to lick the bowl.

there you have it, walnut cherry onion soup

and yes, that is one of the very weirdest things Ive cooked so far
if this social distancing thing goes on for more months, I'll probably even out-do this recipe.

It apparently is not all that abnormal.  Take a look at what other people have done with walnuts, cherries and onions. 

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