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Archive for April 9th, 2009

Like my kitchen, f’rinstance?  Because if you have bean in my kitchen, you’ve noticed a lot of cooking going on, and a lot of experimentation. It’s all bean good.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve accumulated 5 or 6 or 7 vegan cookbooks. I’m crazy that way, love to read the cookbooks. But I’m really bad about trying new things in them, because so much of the satisfaction comes in reading them. I’ve gone through each cookbook, and pulled out 3 recipes that I’m going to try. Tonight I chose the White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup from Vegan With a Vengeance.

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I’d never roasted garlic before. So many instructions seem to make it all complicated (slice off the end, olive oil, foil), but this was easy. Peel off as much of the papery skin as you can and pop it into the oven.

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Here they are, roasting away. The smell in my house was incredible. Mmmmm. Garlicky goodness.

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Nothing like onions sizzling in olive oil.

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I even measured the seasonings, something I don’t normally do. But I’ve never used fennel seeds before, and I didn’t want to mess things up. Note to self–get a small coffee gringer to grind the seasonings in. I didn’t make much headway crushing the fennel seeds with my tiny morter and pestle.

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The onions are nice and brown. And the beans, which I didn’t show you, aren’t canned beans. Yes, planning ahead gave me time to soak the beans and cook them. They tasted a lot better, and were a lot cheaper.

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One head of roasted garlic, peeled.  Isa, are you sure I’m supposed to put in two whole heads of garlic?

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Gulp. Okay, Isa, I’m trusting you here. (Besides, if I follow the recipe and it doesn’t come out perfectly, it’s not my fault.)

There are no pictures of the pureeing process, mainly because I was too lazy to get out my big food processor, and my blender was in the dishwasher, and it wouldn’t be a big deal to puree it in small batches in my little Black & Decker food chopper.  And there are also no pictures of the pureeing process because I had soup broth all over my hands. And the counter. And the floor, although Scout took care of that before I was able to clean it up. Bad idea. (Note to self: food processor needs to live on the counter. I need it.)

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Here’s the finished product. You  may think it tastes so good that you don’t need the lemon juice. And you’d be right, except for one thing–the lemon juice makes it out-of-this-world incredible. It gets two thumbs up (maybe four, but Joe’s not home to confirm), and four paws up. I know that Scout eats everything, and that may not seem like much of a recommendation. However, he started licking my bowl as soon as he could tell I was through, and he licked the spoon, and he licked my nose, and he licked both my hands, and then he went into the kitchen to see if he’d somehow missed any dribbles. So in this case, the Scout Seal of Approval means something. UPDATED TO ADD–Joe just got back and he gave it two thumbs up. Actually, what he said was, “Wow! This is gourmet, 5-star soup! This is the best soup I’ve ever had!” (He was also concerned that I’d never make it again, due to my habit of wildly improvising in the kitchen, and was pleased to learn that I blogged about it and that I made it exactly as written in the cookbook.)

I love you, Isa.

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