I despise talking about the weather, but excuse me while I talk about the weather. This past weekend it was a cool, brisk and a very perfect temperature of 65 during the day and in the 50s at night. This is the kind of spring weather that inspires one to wear shorts with a sweater. It’ll inspire you to make a big batch of soup and eat it outside with a blanket draped over your shoulders. It’s dreamy weather, really.
Los Angeles is currently experiencing some freakish heatwave at this very second and if only I could go back to the dreamy blanket-over-shoulder-while-eating-soup-weather. I’m not going to complain about Los Angeles weather because that’d be silly. Instead, I’m going to wait for it to pass, so I can revisit his soup which is oh so perfect.
The weather right now in Los Angeles is cool and drafty and every pink bush, tree and flower has decided it’s time for its debut (evidence here). I’m headed to New York at the end of this week and decided to take a gaze over at the ol’ weather channel, thinking, hoping, expecting for temperatures to be very Spring-like. You know, 50s and 60s. Umm…New York is gonna be crazy cold. (Not polar vortex cold but you know…) I’m staying with my friend Tre, and I have plans to make him a big pot of soup in his barely-stocked kitchen. This recipe doesn’t require much. Just a pot and a blender, warm socks and some hope that Spring is so very close.
This recipe is a part of McCormick’s Go4Gourmet challenge. It goes like this: McCormick sent me a box of three ingredients (in this case it was their California garlic powder, chicken stock, and basmati rice) and I used these ingredients, plus any root vegetable of my choosing to create a recipe. These are the results!
Yesterday I ate 1/2 of gigantic big bowl of guacamole, pet a bird, ate 1/4 of this spinach dip and then had a gigantic plate of Feijoada. (The Feijoada was beyond epic and it’s now my goal to make it for this here space.)
Basically what I’m saying is that I overate. Probably more than Thanksgiving. A dinner of just appetizers is like a dream for me. It reminds me of My-So-Called-Life when Rayenne complains about always having frozen appetizers for dinner and her mother has no idea what she’s talking about.
Eating just appetizers reminds me of afterschool snacks and tapas in Spain and my favorite television series of all time.
In an alternate universe, I have long hippie-flowing hair, I can wear long dresses (I’m so very short) and have the super power to go on walks in the forest and name every single flower I come across. I can gather a random medley of flowers, take them home and effortlessly arrange them in one of those antique-y looking vases. In this alternate universe where I’m a flower-whisperer, I’m guessing I probably HATE sunflowers. (I feel like most florists whom I’ve met do.) I’m a flower snob, guys.
In my non-alternate universe, I kinda like sunflowers. They’re definitely not my go-to flower at the market, but I like them in fall. They’re so warm and cheery and harmless. I will admit, they’re definitely homely, but I think that’s part of their charm. For the longest time I had no idea what that sunchokes were related to sunflowers. Honestly, for a long time I had no idea what the hell a sunchoke actually was. I thought it was an artichoke. I dunno. When I found out the two were related it all made sense. Sunchokes do sort of taste like nutty, the way a sunflower seed tastes. You can eat them raw, shaved in salads or pan sautéed and thrown in a hash with an egg, but I love them in soups. They make the creamiest, silkiest of soups.
I live and die for this Acorn Squash Soup with Cheesy Croutons. It’s a throwback from 2011 and one of my favorite fall things to make. The soup you see pictured is like its very interesting cousin who reads a lot, is well traveled and went to a fancy college. Sometimes I just want something to be easy and cheesy and comforting and other times I want things that make me think. This is the latter. I like it A LOT.
Sage and curry need to come together more often. I’m an enormous fan of butternut squash, but sometimes I think it’s too sweet. I think the sage and curry serve as really awesome savory elements that balance out the sweetness perfectly. This soup is easy to make; I’m talking 30 minutes tops and it’s perfect for days. The full recipe for this grown-up soup is over on PBS Food.
On another super random note, do you guys know the UP Series? Have you seen it? If you’re unfamiliar, I’ll be quick: it’s a series that started in the 60s with 14 kids from different social classes and backgrounds. The kids were interviewed, talked about their hopes and dreams for the future, and every seven years they were interviewed. Initially the series was supposed to be a study about class division in England, but over the years it’s turned into so much more. The movie is really beautiful, sad and heartbreaking at times and just totally fascinating. Today on PBS the “56 UP” aires! WUUUT! All of the kids are now 56. I’m so stoked to watch it. I cannot get enough. If you haven’t seen it, please do! It’s one of my all-time favorite movies.
I really hate myself for saying this but…I’m excited for fall. I am. I so am. UGH. It’s not even September and tomorrow I’m posting a recipe that has watermelon in it, BUT you know…I’m excited for sweaters and scarves and making out under falling autumn leaves. That sounds so fun (and cheesy!) to me. This is also coming from the person who just last week got super angry when Halloween Stuff was spotted in the new Sur La Table catalog. I’m a complicated person. I go back in forth. I’m indecisive. But right now, right this second, I’m super excited to look cute in fall.
Even though deep inside my brain I can’t wait for cooler weather, I promise you will not see pumpkin on this blog until late September. I’m making a deal with myself. No pumpkin until Fall, man. It’s pepper season. I’m talking hatch chiles, pasilla chiles and of course, the plain ol’ red and yellow peppers too.
Look at this color soup! I love it. And chervil! What the heck is a chervil?! Chervil is a fancy-ass French parsley. It’s hella dainty and frilly. It’s very crochet-like, right?
One small spoon, a skewer and two adults (me included) were bent over this soup a few days ago, trying super hard to make cute heart dollops made of fromage blanc. I really wish you were present so you could laugh at me and tell me I’m ridiculous. But you’d probably just try and help because most you lovely people have your own blogs and are used to playing with your food until it looks as adorable as possible. Right?!
Sometimes I fuss over stuff because I’m annoying but this soup is as easy as can be. It celebrates of the 65 degree weather that spring is all about. I’m so glad we’re not sweating yet. It’s sweet, a little tart, creamy with a hint of onion from butter-roasted shallots and a spring onion bulb.
This is the soup I want to eat on a cool Tuesday night, sitting on the couch watching the tele. The full recipe is over on Etsy’s blog.
P.S. I’ve been gone most of the week because I’ve been working on fun stuff, video stuff that I will share with you soon. Can’t wait!
There’s Clam Chowder and then there’s Clam Chowder, you know? The first time I had real, legit clam chowder was in Boston at a seafood restaurant that only locals went to; it was freezing, raining and the middle of August. Normal Boston attitude. The clam chowder tasted like the fresh, cold, dark ocean…with lots and lots of cream. YES!
I was only in that city for two eventful days and I literally remember nothing but that clam chowder. It was an important event in my life.
Fresh clams available at the fish market and cold (Los Angeles) temperatures make New England Clam Chowder the next logical step. Please do this, too.
This situation is vegan. And filling. And warm and awesome.
Don’t think that by me bringing you a vegan, healthy(ish) recipe is me saying that the party is over…because it’s not. You still have New Year’s to rock your way through! This year I’m being an old person and probably staying home and cooking dinner with my dude. BUT in years past I have partied like a crazy person, vommed in a many cab, and even celebrated with the flu in bed. My New Years’ experiences’ have been vast!
Back to chili…
This recipe is good for when you want something on the lighter side of filling, aren’t in the mood for, as my vegan mother calls it, “animal flesh,” and/or simply want something inexpensive and easy to make.