When I’m cooking I talk like my favorite TV food personalities. My top three are Padma Alton Brown, Mario Batali, and Gordon Ramsay. So I’m one part food science, one part food history, and one part swearing. This time it was mostly swearing.
I love soup. Soup in the winter is an absolute must, and we tend to do it a lot. Karen got me some soup cookbooks and we’d done a good bit of experimenting, but as is our habit we developed some favorites tended to stick with them. One such dish is a cream of broccoli soup that even the kids like. I’ve made it so much that I don’t even need the cookbook any more. But this time I decided to make some changes to it.
My first change came when I asked myself “If this is a vegetable soup, why am I using chicken stock?” Now, the answer to that question is simply that the recipe tells me to. Also we found some very good store brand chicken stocks and we use them with great success. But I wanted a vegetarian soup for some reason this week so I bought some store brand vegetable stock. (It was College Inn, in case you were wondering.)
What I didn’t know was that Karen had a quart of homemade veggie stock in the freezer.
I knew I was in trouble the minute I started pouring the stock into the pot. It seems that in making this stock they use some tomato trimmings or whatnot, giving the stock a red hue. Doing some math in my head I came up with the following equation:
Red Vegetable Stock + Green Broccoli & Leeks = Brown Soup
I knew that the instant I put the stick blender in this soup I’d be witness to something very unappetizing. And I wasn’t disappointed.
My next failure came when I went to add the dairy to the soup. It is a cream soup after all, and the recipe calls for half and half. And I had bought half and half especially for this soup. Unfortunately I’d used it all up in my coffee that week. So in went whole milk.
Yeah. That’s what I said too.
I’m ashamed to say that I fed it to my kids and told them that it was the same as the nice green soup I usually make, except it’s brown and it’s still good. They didn’t buy it. It looked like swamp water and, what’s worse, it was gritty when you did try to eat it. I still don’t know where all that grit came from; I washed those leeks thoroughly. I could only eat half a bowl, then I decided to strain the rest and “fix” it. That only made it worse. After straining it looked more vile than before. You should be glad I didn’t take any pictures; it would ruin your appetite for days.