Me: Um, that's what it's called?
Ashley, Chandler, Joshua, me
Cannellini spread with junk to dip in it
Cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanuts (next day note: even more delicious for breakfast)
Lebanese vegetable soup
Assorted cupcakes from Abby Girl Sweets, donated to the cause by my friend Patty (man, the strawberry one was to die for.)
Prosecco with Graeter's strawberry sorbet (thanks to Josh for bringing the sorbet!)
Comedy Night Done Right* All Night**
Chandler's performance of the most horrifying evil laugh, a relic of his days of employ by a haunted house
Bonding over shared loathing of the characters on "Perfect Couples"
Near donnybrook regarding the distribution of the last 1/4 cupcake
(Full disclosure: Ashley did not bogart the last 1/4 cupcake; she shared it with Josh.
The picture was just funnier this way.)
The picture was just funnier this way.)
Patty (of donated cupcakes fame) informs me that I really need a rating system for these soups. Seems like a good idea to me; I'll attempt to work that out over the weekend.
My brother's sister-in-law (sister-in-law's sister? Is that more confusing?), Karin, sent me this recipe after I was home for Christmas, and it immediately went on the shortlist for the 2011 soupendar. I'm really glad it did.
If you perform a Google search*** for Lebanese Vegetable soup, you get quite a few versions of pretty much the same thing--so I'm going to say it's officially Lebanese, no matter how skeptical Janice may be.
Now, this is a good weeknight soup. Super quick to put together, and, depending on the make-up of your pantry, may not even require a trip to the store. The thing that sets it apart from a normal vegetable soup is the artichoke hearts--they really add a bright, tangy acidity to an otherwise fairly standard soup.
This really isn't a spicy soup at all, but if you're super sensitive, you could leave out one or both of the peppers below; definitely don't leave out the coriander. I like to toast whole coriander seeds quickly in a small saute pan, then grind them with a mortar and pestle. I'm convinced it makes it taste better, but I might just like to CRUSH THINGS. (wait...what?)
Though it does taste good, the best recommendation for this soup is the way it makes you feel. It's a big bowl of health, that's what it is. After I finished, my body was all "Thanks, man! You finally figured out what I needed! I'll stop hating you now, at least until you eat all those cupcakes!"
The vegetables in the soup are cooked, but somehow they taste so bright and fresh and full of life. It's satisfying and nourishing and filling, but not heavy. It's not the kind of soup that's going to impress anyone at a dinner party, but I'd never kick it out of bed.
Mmmmm...soup in bed...
Lebanese Vegetable Soup
Adapted from the Sister Vegetarian blog
1 large sweet onion, chopped (About 2 cups)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups diced yukon gold potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups canned diced San Marzano tomatoes
2 13-14 oz cans of Artichoke Hearts, cut into eighths
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I like to slip the skins off them, too, but mostly because it's fun. Not really a necessary step.)
chopped fresh italian parsley
In a large pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the red pepper flakes, coriander, cayenne and garlic. Cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the potatoes and 2 cups of the stock; cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender and not overcooked.
Gently stir in the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, and the remaining 2 cups of stock.
Heat gently until vegetables are heated through but not mushy. Taste for seasoning (I added some pepper but no salt, as there was enough salt in my stock).
Top with a lemon wedge, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a sprinkling of parsley.
*A dubious statement, at best.
**Did NBC seriously rhyme "Night" with "Night"? LAZY****.
***I just declared it National Don't Use Google As A Verb Day (a.k.a. awkward sentence construction day?).
****Much like my blog-writing.
Another note: Thanks to Josh for taking the photos last night--A huge improvement over my iPhone snapshots of the last two days.