February 20, 2011

Quick Saturday Soups

We (A&I) make cod soup a lot on Saturdays because of our busy home schedule - try living in a 40-50 year old 2 story house and see if your Saturday schedule isn't busy. Anyway, we make a lot of cod soup because it is easy and fast and so far we're still enjoying it. Yesterday's cod soup (maybe call it 'cod noodle soup') was good! It's almost always what we happen to have on hand or didn't use for lunches during the week and may not make the next week. So I pulled out the frozen broths (about 2 cups) that we save when we blanch veggies for other meals or lunch; the aging cilantro (now mostly stems from being trimmed though the week), frozen leftover tomato sauce (not used in some texmex creation - about 1/2 cup), leftover onion (yellow and red but the red was beyond saving and went into the compost pail after failed efforts at trimming off the obviously flawed portions until nothing was left to trim - so really just less than half a yellow onion cut and not used in last Sunday's salad probably), a sliver of red pepper (maybe 1/6 of a red bell pepper), three baby carrots sliced into slivers, and, of course, olive oil to saute the onions, carrots slivers, and cilantro stems. Which I did (slowly and not too hot) while I loosened the frozen broth from their containers. When the onion, carrot, cilantro mix was slightly softened and releasing a pleasing whiff of things to come, I turned up the heat and dumped the frozen broths and tomato sauce into the mix with added water (2 cups or so) and brought it to a boil and added just 1/2 vegan veggie bouillon (no added salt - Rapunzel brand).

Meantime, I had boiling water on the back of the stove for the extra wide pasta noodles that we love and tried to time the whole thing together. Actually the pasta is critical because when it is ready it does not tolerate a lot of rest time like the soup will. Once my broth mixture came to a boil I dropped the cod (not a lot but enough for two people) into the boiling soup and allowed it to return to a boil before putting a lid on it and turning off the fire. It will set until the pasta is perfect. By the way the cod was fresh but because we had so much of it we had frozen some of it and I was using the last of the frozen fillets.

Okay, the spices. For me, if I don't use fresh garlic as I prefer to do, I add some powdered but otherwise the spices are about the same most of the time I make a variety of cod soups that we like (most of the time with brown rice rather than a pasta): unsalted cajun spices (the ingredients are basically dried bits of the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper, celery with a bit of parsley etc. - the brand we use is Benoit's Best and is readily available in Houston and is made in Maurice, Louisiana - any such seasoning will do), red pepper flakes, fresh ground black pepper (actually ours is a mix of black, white, etc.), a pinch of kosher salt, and plenty of cayenne pepper to taste.

A raved about it. She had a glass of Malbec (I was drinking St. Arnold's Winter Stout) but I don't think it was just the Malbec talking. It was pretty good.

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