Recipe #1: http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/recipes/spring-pea-soup-87767.aspx
I'm on a bit of a soup kick lately (lazy cook-a-titis, I suspect) so I decided to start my cooking adventure with a soup one. How hard can soup be? It's also freezeable for lunch/dinner-in-a-pinch if it works out ok.
Off to the grocery store (mostly avoiding my weakness: the chip aisle), home to unpack, where did I put the recipe, why did I buy so many potatoes? I already had sour cream?
Heeding my own advice (where it came from is still unknown, just a voice in my head), I decided to "cube" the potatoes and chop the onion first, knowing that it would take me a while. Took a little longer than I thought, thanks to a completly dull peeler (obviously rarely used), a residual mild fear of my cute yellow SHARP! paring knife, and trying to figure out how to "cube" a potato but eventually I got it all done.
I've discovered that playing my iPod in the kitchen really helps. There's just something about belting out "Same Mistake" by James Blunt or dancing around with a sharp knife like an idiot to your Cardio playlist that boosts the daunting cooking experience to a new level. I'm not yet saying it's fun but I could see it heading that way eventually. Just between you and me, I'm blogging this to "Kids" by MGMT while sitting cross-legged and bouncing on my stability ball. Another source of inspiration. I just hope I don't fall off...
Back to the recipe: Ok, the chicken stock (reduced sodium) is in a tetra pack in my cupboard and the spoiler date says July 2006. But we all know those dates are pretty much just suggestions, right? It's never been opened, it's not sagging or bulging violently, but since I'm inexperienced, I get on the batphone and check with a culinary-wise friend who tells me it should be fine to use. Good. I'm sick of looking at it.
Add ingredients to pot, avoid temptation to turn burner on HI and leave the room (my mom taught me that one), carefully read recipe and follow instructions. I have time to check my email while it comes to a boil. Doesn't look much like pea soup yet, more like frozen peas floating in salad dressing and chopped onion, but I must have faith in these Kraft people. They are more knowledgeable than I in this arena.
Email from my cousin Jenny says not to use expired ingredients and to smell them first if I do. My reputation preceeds me. Hmmm, little late for that, soup's already on. I figure if I cook it lots then I'll kill any potential bacteria. It's worked so far for expired eggs.
Finally soup has simmered long enough, time to blend. Normally I avoid the blender because I hate cleaning it, but for you, Soup O' Mine, I will do what the recipe says. "Blend in small batches" sounds kind of inefficient but I resist the urge to fill the blender. Good thing I did. Only a small burn on my hand holding down the lid when I hit "blend" and the scalding soup surges upward. Lick soup off my hand, get a better grip on the lid, hit it again. Don't feel the burn this time and soup is getting greener thankfully. Transfer batch to giant bowl, repeat but with oven mitt on holding hand. Ha! I outsmarted soup in a blender. I am S-M-R-T!
Blend, transfer, blend, transfer, find metal square in living room to retrieve other oven mitt where it has fallen down into the dusty nether region between the stove and fridge, blend, transfer, fish blender lid out of blender and soup, blend, transfer, yawn.
At last! "Stir in sour cream", find suspicious lumps of partially blended potato, make mental note to warn other eaters about it, soup looks good! Time check: more than the recipe said but that's expected at this stage. Final email check, get good luck wishes from aunt and cousin, might need them but things are looking ok at this point. Next up: taste test
Since I'm playing slopitch after dinner tonight, don't want to eat too much in case I have to run a lot or in case my GI tract rebels during the game. Spoon out bowl of soup, quickly put together small salad, glass of milk and we're good to go. Somewhat suprisingly, the soup is tasty! No bad paint taste, no funky smells, no odd colour unless you think pea green is strange. I didn't use the mint suggested because it grows wild at the cottage and I felt disloyal buying it at the store.
I'm 4.5 hours post-soup ingestion with no adverse effects as yet. Dare I count this one as a success? I'll get Carmen to weigh in her opinion if she takes me up on my offer of free soup tomorrow. Stay tuned...