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Monday, March 14, 2005

Soup Blogging

Instead of studying for Fed Cts like I should be, I decided to play with Hello instead. I was finally able to get multiple photos to show up in the same post! (I know - everyone on Earth probably already knew how to do this, but it made me happy. It's the little things....)

E. McPan inspired me with her question last week to cook up a big batch of soup this weekend, even though the weather has been unseasonably warm and beautiful. Nonetheless, we went grocery shopping Saturday and I bought all the ingredients for a big pot of Beef Barley soup. AND I decided to document the cooking process because I am geeky like that for posterity.

Cooking a batch of soup is always a production in my house. For starters, we have the world’s smallest kitchen. I must have committed some terrible culinary sin in a past life to be forced to cook in a kitchen this small. Even the drawers are of miniature proportion – seriously, who would design a house where the largest drawers in the kitchen are 8.5 inches wide? Look – I have proof…



Drawers

It seems like they could have made one decent sized drawer instead of two dinky ones. I use these two as my spice drawers, since there’s also no other place to put spices. And yes, the spices are alphabetized. Except for the large containers of black peppercorns, cinnamon, and garlic powder, and the odd little containers – they just go along the side or in back.


Spices

Soup cooking is also a production is because I generally quadruple the recipe. I figure it’s easier to dirty everything up once, chop once, and cook once.

I start by cutting up the beef. I also always kosher salt it before cooking. Mainly because I think it makes it taste better – but it’s entirely possible that you’re not supposed to salt meat before cooking it.


Meat

Lots of chopping of onions, celery, and garlic. I use a Pampered Chef food chopper to make it easier and much, much faster. There are other choppers out there, but I prefer the PC one because it's easy to use and easier to clean than the others I've looked at.


Onion

Once the beef, onion, celery, water, beef broth, barley, spices, and bouillon are simmering, I start chopping the carrots, zucchini, and green beans. The fancy slicer is also from Pampered Chef. One of my friends is a consultant and I registered with her when Mr. Q and I got married. So, I have a lot of their stuff. Some of it is better than others.


Veggies||Drawers||Spices||Meat||Onion||Zucchini Posted by Hello


Finished! Posted by Hello

Voila! 10 Quarts of soup! It's always better after it sits for a day - the flavors have to blend together. I served it with a fresh baked loaf of homemade Oatmeal bread. Mmmmmm....

Ok, back to Fed Cts. Really. No, I mean it this time....

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