Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday, Soupy Sunday

I can never cook anything in the amount of time it says in a recipe. NEVER. Sometimes it's because I make changes to the recipe that make it take longer. Sometimes it's because I'm just slow and/or distracted. Sometimes it's because the time listed is just flat out wrong. This weekend, I made the Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans from Veganomicon and hit the trifecta of temporal failure (but it was worth it!).

I made changes to the recipe that made it take longer: True. I substituted dried beans and fresh tomatoes for canned. I soaked my beans over night and boiled them for an hour. I roasted the garlic (which was fun, easy and interesting - photos below) while the beans were boiling. That was also when I worked on the tomatoes. I sloppily diced up about ten tomatoes as small as I could, then threw the pieces in the Smart Chopper (I don't have a food processor) to make them kind of soupy like the stuff you get from a can.

I'm just slow and/or distracted: This is true all the time. I chop ridiculously slowly because I'm clumsy and thumbs in the soup mean it's no longer vegan. This is even more true when I have the great idea to start cooking my weekly food at 11 PM Saturday night instead of 10 AM Sunday morning and have already played with my polenta and made more Golden Vegetable Broth (this must be on hand at all times. I added some celery and a zucchini, which was great. The zucchini is a little soft, though. I think I'll put it in closer to the end next time). Being half asleep does not help my accuracy when measuring and cutting, nor does it enhance my ability to move swiftly.

The time listed is just flat out wrong: One of my many peeves is when cookbooks list the time required to make a dish, then contradict themselves within the recipe. I recently came across a recipe like this in Vegetarian Times, and the Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans represents for Veganomicon. The recipe is classified as 45 minutes or less, but you need to let the soup simmer for 45 minutes. That's on top of the chopping, sauteeing, etc.

That said, the soup is still extremely easy and pretty damn fast to make. Just not 45 minutes. However, this does NOT make me love Veganomicon any less. It's still my ichiban numbah won! cookbook.

The soup is also very tasty. Because I used fresh tomatoes, it's not as smooth as it would normally be and almost feels like rice and beans with a ridiculous amount of tomato sauce on it. I happen to like rice and beans and tomato sauce, so it still wins.


Topless (scandalous!):

Looks like one was almost about to sprout:

After being drizzled with olive oil, wrapped in foil and left in the oven for a while:

After that, popping the slippery cloves out of the skin was fun. Mashing it was less so. A tip: mash your cloves against the side of the bowl, not the bottom. If you mash against the bottom, you'll be chasing them around your bowl for ages.

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