Monday, 1 September 2008

never say never

Now, usually I dislike celery. It is, in fact, the *only* vegetable that I'm not happy to see in my vegbox. And this week, there it was, staring at me. Taunting me even. Saying: So Iron Chef, whatcha gonna do now, eh? Also, I have fresh tarragon. Having never used tarragon, I had no idea what to do with that. For some reason, I was feeling too kewl to use teh Googles to figure out what to do with tarragon, and had this sort of "fuck you, celery" attitude going on. In a moment of rash Iron Chef macho-ness, I decided that I would not only *add* celery to the dish, but I would feature it. So I cranked up some very silly music and just went for it.

And... I may actually BUY celery to make this again.

Lemony celery soup: I started with about half a cup of soup stuff (bought as a mix of barley, lentils, legumes of various sorts) that I left soaking before leaving for work this morning. Then I added an onion, 3 giant cloves of garlic, some chopped ginger and a small (but serious) chili pepper and let that simmer while I chopped the celery (stalks only, about 1 small head) and a tomato, which got thrown in. Then I added a lot of toasted cumin and a tsp of marmite. Then, the chopped celery leaves (remember what I said about eating ALL the food?). When the celery appeared suitably disguised by the rest of the soup, I turned off the heat and added about 1/4 c. chopped fresh tarragon, some salt, and a whole lemon worth of juice. Yup. The tarragon manages to taste remarkably like anise here, and the whole soup is best described as what hot and sour soup would taste like if it were made in the middle east. For someone with a severe hangover. Anyways. It took one pot and about 20 minutes of cooking time if you remember to put the barley and legumes on to soak in the morning. Have some bread or a salad (or just a plate of olives, actually...this soup is pretty substantial), and you have a full dinner. See? Everyday food. (worry not, I shall post something fancy-schmancy soon enough) Oh yeah. And the reason I seem to be living on soups lately is because it is fall. I love fall. And for some reason in my head soup makes fall even more fallish.

singing along with the Arrogant Worms. If I still lived in my native Canada, I would want to be a pirate on the river Sas-kat-che-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!


The Voracious Vegan said...

Love this post! What a creative soup you made, sounds fabulous. I've been thinking about cooking with tarragon lately...hmmm...

Jake said...

I've never had fresh tarragon, but here are two things to do with dried tarragon:

1) make long slices of onions, green and red peppers. Saute them in olive oil with a bunch of dried basil and a little bit of dried tarragon. Also salt and pepper. Take a big can of whole tomates. Fish out the tomates and put them in a bowl, where you chop them in quarters and pour the contents of the bowl into your pan. Heat until heated, adjusting seasoning and adding the leftover tomates juice if it gets too dry. Now, here my dad and I part company on what to do next. My dad makes the above mixutre in a frying pan, then makes a thick layer of cooked/canned chickpeas in a big microwave-safe dish, spreads the tomates/peppers stuff on top of it, covers the whole thing (leaving some vent room) and microwaves it until the chickpeas are warm. I make the tomates/peppers stuff in a big pot, then I add the chickpeas to the pot and heat it that way. it really doesn't matter. Either way we call it chickpea stuff.

Serve on top of pasta or rice, possibly with tabasco sauce. I often add other veggies to the chickpea stuff. Broccoli and asparagus work well.

2) add a pinch of dried tarragon to mint tea. It makes it extra yummy.

vegandwhatnot said...

Sorry, can't, and will never be able to consume celery. I can't even handle the smell of celery in the crisper. I can applaud your attempt at being open-minded to celery, but I shall sadly never be able to do the same.

I had soup for supper too! There was this squash and a red onion that followed me home from the store today, and we had these lovely locally grown carrots in the fridge.

(throws on the hand-made-from-recycled-corduroy tri-corn kept beside my monitor), "...Stealin' wheat and barley, and all the other grains..."

sinead said...

@Jake: thanks, I'll try that, and the mint tea idea is GENIUS. pure genius.

@vegandwhatnot: thank you for singing along. *piratical grin*