it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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It's like white beans and garlic having sex in a rosemary bush

The original recipe for this soup is on page 229 of Depborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, ISBN # 0-7679-0014-6. When heresluck made it, I liked it so much I bought the cookbook. Seriously.

The version I made today went like this:

First, I made the rosemary/garlic olive oil infusion, which involves warming frsh chopped rosemary and sliced garlic in a quarter cup of olive oil until the garlic just starts to get a little color and the kitchen smells so good you start gnawing on your hand. Then I set that aside to cool, and in my not-big-enough-soup-pot, I sauteed one chopped white onion, three peeled and diced carrots, and three diced stalks of celery in olive oil until the onion went translucent and started to color. That's one more carrot and two more celery stalks than the original recipe calls for, but I was making enough to freeze.

Then I added two peeled and chopped parsnips and a sliced leek, because I had them, and hell, parsnips and leeks both belong in soup, right? Once those had sauteed a little, I added fifteen or twenty cloves of chopped garlic (The original recipe says five. FIVE! That's hardly enough garlic to make your hands smell funny. Pshaw. Five.) and a handfull of chopped fresh rosemary. The recipe calls for parsley, which I didn't have, so I used cilantro.

On top of that went two cans of drained white beans--a can of great northern beans and a can of heirloom soldier beans--a palmful of kosher salt (call it a teaspoon and change), a can of peeled tomatoes in tomato puree, and enough water to fill up the pot. Stir and taste.

Cracked black pepper next, and after a bit of simmering I adjusted the seasoning with a bit of onion powder, some more fresh rosemary, some dried rosemary, brown and yellow mustard seeds and a capful of cider vinegar, because the parsnips and cilantro had made things just a touch too sweet.

And soup! Very easy, very yum. Serve over some pasta of your choice (I used multicolored veggie pasta in "fun shapes" because I am whimsical, yes I am) with a drizzle of the rosemary olive oil on top and a few shavings of parmesan. And good bread.


Oh, the inauthetic beef stroganoff? Like this:

Get some beef and cut it up into bite sized bits. It doesn't matter what you use, but any flavorful cut for roast, etc, is good--bottom round works well, and so does sirloin, tri tip, etc. The more tender cuts that they use for the hoity toity versions of beef stroganoff are steaks. Do not braise them. It's a waste.

Cuts for pot roast tend to be a little too tough....

Okay, once you have them cut up, brown them thoroughly, a little at a time, in a heavy bottomed skillet. When they're all browned and set aside, fill the whole damned pan with onions and a little bit of olive oil and sautee those until they are lovely sauteed onions. Put the meat back in, and add lots of sliced garlic and ginger, thyme, a bay leaf, some black pepper, a generous amount of dill, and some sweet basil. You can also use rosemary, marjoram, oregano--whatever you like, but the thyme and the dill are non-negotiable.

(Yes, I know, you're going "Dill on beef? How weeeerd! Hush. It's good.)

Add wine, water, beer, beef stock, or whatever you have on hand to cover everything in the skillet about halfway up. Add a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and a quarter-cup or so of red wine vinegar or cider vinegar.  Smush it downa little. Put the cover on, turn it down to simmer. Walk away. Come back every half an hour and poke at it a little. Taste it. Add some more garlic and dill. Taste the stock. Think about it a little and throw in a beef bouillon cube. If you are horrified by the concept of adding a bouillon cube to anything, add some salt instead, but it won't be as good, I promise.

When the meat is falling apart and most of the liquid has cooked off, throw in some mushrooms (Canned or fresh; it matters not). If you have fresh dill, add it now. If not, add some more dried dill. And now--here's the secret--add a little more vinegar. Seriously. It's supposed to be a touch on the sour side; the vinegar and the dill keep the sour cream from becoming cloying and drowning the flavors of the food.

Sour cream? Right. That's the last step. After you pull it off the heat, glop some sour cream in there and stir it in. Not a ton--not the whole container--but a couple of healthy spoonfulls, enough to make the sauce creamy and sort of beige.

And then pile the mess in the skillet on the carbohydrate of your choice and eat it until you cannot eat any more.

There will not be leftovers.

I promise you.

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