Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rib Stickin' Bean & Barley Soup

Recipe #4: http://www.cookwithcampbells.ca/en-ca/Recipes/ribstickinbeanbarleysoup.aspx

Yes, we're back to the soup again. Maybe that will be my trend: soup, main course, dessert, repeat each week. Guess you'll just have to wait and see :)

Today's recipe is a Campbell's soup one from: http://www.cookwithcampbells.ca/en-ca/Home.aspx My copy is actually one that I tore out of a magazine while waiting for an oil change once but shhhh, that's our secret, ok? I found it in my recipe archives which is a folder that I have full of recipes I collect with every good intention of actually making, but usually I never get around to doing so and thus, they collect dust. Judging by the number of meatless recipes I've collected, I suspect some might even date back to my year-long fling with vegetarianism....when I was 15.

As far as soup recipe attempts go, I had a little more confidence going into this one than I did with my very first one. The ingredients are pretty straightforward, save for some confusion about the barley. I tried finding it at Sobey's but the guy I asked didn't know what or where it was, and when we finally found it, it was pot barley while the recipe calls for pearl barley. We looked at each other blankly when I asked if there was a difference between the two. Where is Google when I need it?! I finally found the correct barley at the Bulk Barn (btw, the Bulk Barn location at Masonville Place is gone so don't bother trying to shop there like I did), and figured out that pot barley takes longer to cook (essentially) so I bought the pearl as required.

Recipe mods: I used baby carrots that I already had instead of buying two carrots, I didn't use diced plum tomatoes, just regular diced tomatoes because I already had a can of them, I added extra celery, spinach, and the whole can of tomatoes, and I refused to pay more money for organic vegetable broth so I used regular (ok, cheaper) vegetable broth. Sue me.

Being the wiser cook that I am now, I knew to start heating the oil toward the end of my chopping of onion, carrot, and celery. For the record, chopping an onion with an eye infection sucks. Add items to pot, flinch when hot oil splatters upward and burns my arm, inadvertently fling some celery pieces across the room in the process, quickly add rest of vegetables to pot and stir. Start measuring tomatoes and barley (holy geez, I bought way too much), drain kidney beans into sink full of dishes from yesterday, make mental note to clear sink prior to cooking next time.

Stir onion/carrot/celery combo occasionally, wash some dishes and curse them for not washing themselves, carefully add liquid ingredients to pot with only minor splashing out, retrieve kidney bean from floor and find missing celery piece, shrug and chuck in rest of tomatoes in can. Tomatoes are good for me, right? Stir and wait for pot to come back to boil. Wash more dishes, run downstairs and change laundry over, pot still not boiling. Heat end of fettuccine alfredo, feel virtuous for adding 1/2 can of green beans to leftover pasta sludge, pot finally boiling. Reduce heat and eat lunch while checking email.

Finally time to add spinach, soup doesn't look too bad but there's an awful lot of it, hope that soup freezes well. Update blog (Dark Side of Cooking entry), do some online banking, finish lunch gone cold now. Check soup, burn face and mouth while checking to see if spinach is "tender", shrug and hope that my version of tender is the same as what the recipe intended. At suggestion from Cynthia, take photo of soup as well as one of Creme Caramel Squares to post to each blog.

I'm still full from finishing the pasta experiment from last week so I haven't tried the soup yet. I'm doing a pilates class tonight so the soup will be a good meal before that, probably along with salad to use up the spinach I bought today. I'll let you know how it turns out :)
Postscript: Soup is good! if you don't mind semi-crunchy carrots and celery in it. Looks like my idea of "tender" still needs a bit of work. No room for salad yet. That'll be lunch tomorrow with more soup.

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