In my fridge: some dried out strawberries, 1/4 of a pineapple, an eggplant, milk, cream cheese and farmer's cheese. In the freezer is the massive Ham my husband's brother sent us for Christmas (would take too long to defrost -- as in days probably) and some peas. I do have some tortellini in there, but we ate that last night with half a bag of peas thrown into the water before draining it. There are some popsicles and a wee bit of Carmel Delight ice cream. A teeny weenie bit of chicken left over from Monday night. Not enough, really, to make the old pasta/chicken/ roasted veggie standby the girls love. I also have some whole wheat flour.
No onions. No bacon. My few cloves of garlic have little green shoots coming out of them. I've got about 10 red new potatoes. No dried pasta even.
Let's talk about the carrot soup I made Tuesday night, shall we? That was the night I used my last onion. It was a lovely, sweet onion, no green shoots, no mold, still firm. How I miss that onion. Anyway, I had recently made some bread and decided that I'd make the soup and use up the last bit of cheddar I'd bought from the farmer's market ages ago by grilling some cheddar and mango chutney sandwiches. So I sauteed up the onion, added a couple of cloves of garlic, chopped about 10 carrots into fairly uniform slices and threw it all into a heavy bottomed pot with a swirl of olive oil and just a little bit of butter. After this cooked a bit I threw in some curry powder (thinking it would taste good with the chutney), and poured in the vegetable stock I'd made on Monday night. Then I got out the Panini Press Smith gave me for Mother's Day last year and started to make the sandwiches. Sliced the bread, sliced the cheddar, opened the cabinet for the chutney: no mango chutney. Check the other cabinet. Nope. How can there be no mango chutney? I distinctly remembered going to Whole Foods and tasting this awesome mango chutney on a cracker that was thrust upon me by a WF "associate" in the manner of a perfume sales person at a department store. I also distinctly remember greedily grabbing the last jar of the chutney and running to the check out counter with the rest of my purchases. Then I remembered that the moment my first item was scanned, the lights went out and the registers went down. There was a collective gasp from everyone in the store and a woman, with a voice like Lisa Simpson's, started walking around telling people to remain calm, which everyone was doing anyway. I waited a while for the generator to kick in, but I had to leave before it did because I had to pick Emma up from school and she hates it when I'm late. As I walked out, empty handed except for the sushi the manager gave to me for free (I do love the people at my Whole Foods despite their taste in music) three fire engines and one ambulance raced down Lancaster toward Wynnewood Ave.
Car accident? Explosion? Terrorist? I never learned because I took a right out of the Whole Foods parking lot to avoid the potential scene.
So no mango chutney. But the curry was really nice with the carrot soup in which we dipped the corners of our plain cheddar sandwiches happily.
As for tonight: I could roast the eggplant and make hummus with it, the garlic and the lone can of chickpeas I just found in the cabinet. Nigella Lawson whirs cream cheese up in her hummus -- I can do that because I have that bit of cream cheese in the fridge (I just have to dig the toast crumbs out of it). I don't have any pita, but I do have time to bake a basic loaf of bread. Do I have olive oil? Yes. Things are looking up...
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP butter (can omit, add more oil)
1 medium onion (a leek, shallot or red onion would be good too)
10 carrots (or as many as you have. Try adding a parsnip or 2)
2 cloves of garlic chopped or pressed
2 tsp curry powder
1 bay leaf
3 cups of vegetable stock
a bit of milk or cream (optional, but I like the silkiness it adds)
- Heat a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat, add oil and butter.
- When the butter bubbles add the onion and stir until softened
- Then add the carrots and the garlic and the bay leaf. Let cook a few minutes
- Add the curry. Let cook a few minutes more.
- Add the vegetable stock.
- Let cook about 15 minutes until the carrots get soft.
- Fish the bay leaf out,
- Blend in batches in blender, or if you have one, use a handheld blender and blend until soup is fairly smooth.
- At the last minute swirl in a bit or milk or cream.