Monday, October 12, 2009


Is anyone out there wondering why I sometimes post recipes when I CLEARLY have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen? In a way, you've answered your own question, my friend.

I like to cook for myself because (a) it's cheaper than always getting takeout, (b) I've heard food is probably better for you when you make it yourself out of ingredients than if you get all prepackaged/premade/fast food, and (c) I feel more like a grownup. However, I also seem to have a problem with recipes. More specifically, I have a problem with quantities. I'm much more comfortable with the idea of ingredient names than ingredient numbers. If a recipe calls for a big ol' list of a 1/2 cup of rinsed this and 2 1/3 cups of diced that then I generally feel like abandoning it in favor of a nap before I'm halfway through. (I don't feel this way when it comes to baking, however. I get that cookie recipes need to be followed specifically to the letter). So, while I have great respect for people who create and/or follow recipes with exact quantities, I'm going to go ahead and continue with my attempts to use recipes without them.

Okay, so are we on board with my no-quantities style? I mean, I could try and fake it for you....

So. Soup. I love soup. Love it. And I tried to make a few weeks ago. I looked up a couple of recipes for cream of chicken with rice soup and then I gave it a whirl, in my quantity-ignoring way. Here is how it came out:

Yeah. So. Fail. But on the bright side, I renamed it "risotto" and ate it for 3 days.

And then someone gave me a tip-- add the rice or pasta or whatever at the end. Don't fill up the pot with uncooked rice because you are probably overestimating the amount you are going to need and then you'll end up with sloppy rice goo instead of soup. Not that I would know anything about that.

So I made minestrone last week.

And then yesterday I made this lentil-barley-squash soup. Which is yummy but I think next time I won't add kidney beans to it because yeesh it's almost TOO nutritious.

So, without further ado. Here it is. My super easy soup recipe.

Broth (Chicken, beef, or vegetable. I buy these at the store. I don't have room in my life to do anything that involves boiling a chicken carcass for hours like apparently you're supposed to)
Vegetables (fresh, frozen, sauteed, whateva you like)
Beans (so far I have used canned kidney beans and dry lentils)
Some nummy carb-- rice, barley, little pasta shapes...
Salt, Pepper, Spices

Pour the broth into a pot. Add your vegetables and beans. Turn on the stove to high and let it boil. Then turn it down low and let it simmer until everything seems cooked enough. Toss in some spices if you've got them. Not enough broth? Add some water and salt and pepper. Oh yeah, you can also add meat if that's something that interests you and you've got leftovers from dinner yesterday.

At the same time, separately, cook the pasta or rice or barley the normal way you do. When it's done, scoop it into the pot with the rest of the soup. Or else you can keep the two separate and combine them in individual servings. The point is, now it's done and you can eat.

Mmmm soup.