- Soup needs liquid. Yes, that seems pretty obvious, but I couldn’t , for the life of me, understand why I was burning the beef in the Vegetable Beef Soup I was making until I realized I forgot to add the water!
- When blending hot soup, make sure to hang on to the top of the blender (with a dishcloth firmly in hand). Know what happens when you don’t? You might be scraping Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup from the ceiling.
Here’s my question for you, fellow soup savants: Why is it when you remake a tried and true soup recipe, the end results can turn out so differently?
I know. I know. We soup lovers like to make soup because, well, because it’s a little more free flowing than, say, baking puff pastry. Add a little here. Adjust. Toss in some more water. A splash of lemon , a pinch more salt …
Once I started thinking about soup, I started seeing soup everywhere.
Even in an art museum.
On a recent trip, I decided to take in “The Steins Collect,” an exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It’s an amazing landmark collection of the holdings of Gertrude Stein and her two brothers. The Steins were great patrons of the Parisian Avant-Garde and collected Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne, to name just a few.
When my friend and yoga teacher Catriona first mentioned green bean soup with Marmite, I have to admit I balked.
First of all, there’s no real need to make soup out of green beans. After all, why mush up something that’s meant to be served with a bit of snap? (My favorite is to blanche green beans and then saute them in butter with shallots, chopped hazelnuts and rosemary. Amazing!)
As to the Marmite, I really didn’t know exactly what it was, but it didn’t sound good.
I know I’m dating myself, but vichyssoise always reminds me of that old Bob Newhart shtick where he pretends he’s a nerdy Pfc.clerk typist in World War II, who was ordered to do phony one-way phone conversations to throw off the eavesdropping Germans.
“Blanke, the cook, is working out rather well, sir,” Newhart says into a phone. “Well one problem is his vichyssoise tastes a little too much like potato soup. Oh, it’s supposed to taste like potato soup …”