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Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

Gluttony: Great Soup

It is cold and raining today, the first chance weather-wise to make a "big 'ol pot 'o soup" (tm). We save cutoffs and cooking juices from everything we make and then make a soup on days like this. This soup is a "fridge magnet", meaning anything you have lying around goes into the pot. Usually this means bits of left over meats, whatever fresh (sometimes frozen) veggies we have around, some of the onions, garlic and potatoes we always have on hand and some left over pasta. Toss all this into a pot of the saved "stock" and viola a soup is born. It is usually VERY GOOD as the stock is usually from a roast or some liquid from cooking of a big 'ol hunk 'o meat in a crock pot. It's never the same soup twice.

This time we had some harmless looking peppers that someone in my office brought in from their garden to share. They looked like cubanelle peppers which are sweet, so I thought nothing of tossing them in. This person also gave me a bag 'o hot peppers, so I tossed one of them in for some heat (yumm-o).

Well, those bad boys were NOT cubanelle peppers. I don't know what they were, but the soup was HOT, almost too hot for me, which is saying a lot because I really like hot stuff. The wife was brought to tears and my 3-year-old took a spoonful and said "dats too hot Daddy" while going for another spoonful (she's my girl!).

You know it's a good soup when, dispite sweat flowing from her forehead, my wife goes for seconds!

Here is what was in the soup:

2 Cups of beef stock (From last week's cooking)
6 cups of water
2 "Mystery peppers" that look like innocent cubanelles
1 "Mystery chili" (looks like a Serrano)
1.5 cups of frozen vegetable medley
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
About 2 cups of leftover pasta (Mini-Shells in this case)
1 Roma tomato chopped (I had it, so in it went)
.5 cup of leftover chopped beef bits
2 Tablespoons curry powder (life is good when you have curry)
salt and pepper to taste (i.e. lots)

Bring the combined liquids to a boil. Always boil stock before using.

Remember to remove the seeds and heat-bearing membranes from the peppers and chili when dicing them.

Sweat the onion and celery with salt until soft, add the vegetable medley, chili and peppers and sauté until peppers are almost soft and frozen veges are melted. Toss into the liquid pot.

Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and the curry powder and sauté until partially softened. Add chopped garlic and stir fry for about a minute. Toss into the liquid pot.

Add pasta and heat through.

Optional (I always do): Add a cornstarch slurry (2 tbs cornstarch and 2 tbs cold water) and bring up the heat while stirring to thicken the broth.

If I had it to do over, I would have omitted the hot chili and replaced one of the peppers with a good ol' bell pepper.

I thought about putting this in the Pride category, but since I ate so much of it I decided Gluttony was a better fit.

UPDATE: Welcome "Carny" folks! Please visit the main page!

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