Comfort Food Times Two

Soup And A Bun

As I mentioned to DMSinTexas the other day, I spent the better part of an afternoon this weekend flipping through How To Cook Everything Vegetarian in an effort to get inspired.

After a bit of random perusal I gravitated towards the soup chapter, which coincidentally is one of my most favourite kinds of vegetarian meals. As much as I generally love poring over a good cookbook and becoming immersed in it, I’ve come to realize that the only time I cook from a recipe is when baking is involved, and even then I’ve taken to winging it more often than not. Of course, since I have such difficulty following a recipe, I didn’t make anything from the book that day, but it did set a few ideas whirring around my brain.

So, it should come as no surprise to my readers that the first recipe I did make was not technically a vegetarian recipe at all (if only because it contained no vegetables) but rather a bread recipe.  With the aid of a little advanced planning, I managed to turn out a fairly decent version of Bittman’s overnight French baguettes.

But, before any of you start getting indignant and accusing me of copping out and picking something that is only inherently vegetarian, allow me to explain;

I picked the baguettes because a) they’re a pretty decent litmus test for the general usability of a cookbook’s recipes and b) I needed something to mop up the vegetarian soup I decided to invent.

Yes, that’s right.  Vegetarian soup.

You see, the day after I’d been reading How To Cook Everything Vegetarian it was getting chilly out, and all of a sudden I felt the urge to make something warming and wonderful.  I threw open the fridge and cupboards and found an abundance of root vegetables stockpiled from several weeks’ worth of CSA deliveries.  My decision to combine the 2 acorn and 1 delicata squashes with 2 sweet potatoes and 2 zucchinis stemmed more from a desire to not let anything go to waste than from a sudden burst of inspiration, though.

After halving everything, I drizzled with a little bit of coffee oil and sprinkled the whole with a generous dose of ras al hanout.  Roasted in the oven until soft and yielding, the warm pulp was scooped from the skins and shells and added to my Dutch oven.  A splash of water and my stick blender were all that was necessary to turn the lumpy mass into a lusciously creamless, but silky soup.  Garnished with a round of Woolwich fig chevre and a side of crusty baguette, it was a little bowl of heaven that also happened to be meatless. The ras al hanout provided a sweetly fragrant complex smokiness to the roasted veg, while the fig chevre balanced it with a mildly assertive tang.  Considering that I just threw the ingredients together so that nothing would go bad, it actually turned out to be quite an enjoyable meal, and one that I would definitely make again.

Imagine that!  I guess I’m not so bad at this vegetarian thing after all.

Until next time…

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