Tonight, after 4pm, after an already jammed day, I made two batches of pulled pork, stuffed turkey cutlets, Southwestern soup, cranberry poached pears, granola bars, cookies, upside-down pear gingerbread, butternut squash soup with apples, and roasted pepper and goat cheese gratin.
None of this, mind you, was for dinner. It was all destined for CBC, foodstyling gigs and a cooking class, all of which happens tomorrow. If I may be allowed to complain for just a minute, I’m totally exhausted and my back hurts. And I have to be up again in 5 hours.
If I hadn’t made a batch of this Tuscan soup yesterday, it would have been toast and peanut butter all around. Fortunately, I hacked all the requisite vegetables into the pot as I unpacked produce from the market, with the directive of leaving it overnight to bake again today. That’s right, baked soup. And it really wasn’t so much a soup as a stew. It could, in fact, be more accurately labelled bean & vegetable stew – the chunk of bread, although interesting, does not define it, and in fact makes it sound far less healthy than it actually is. It has beans, and cabbage, and greens, and carrots, celery and potatoes, besides the bread. I added twice as many tomatoes as the original recipe called for (a cup just wasn’t enough to get it going, so I added a large can of plum tomatoes with their juice, and chopped them up with my stirring spoon) and poured in about half a tetra pack of chicken stock. And because I only had a cup of dried white beans left, and no canned, I soaked and added the cup and didn’t puree any at all. It was perfect, actually. Definitely a stew, and a not very soupy one at that.
I came across it while perusing Saveur’s French onion soup, and was intrigued not only by the photo but by the double-cookedness of it. Yesterday I had very low hopes for it (Mike ate some while I was at my sister’s house and was far from impressed), but tonight I decided it has potential. It needs garlic. And herbs. Definitely garlic. Maybe some chiles. Or sausage. But tonight after it was baked it was just fine sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan – I scooped mine over the last of W’s rice he couldn’t get up with his fork.