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Archive for November, 2002

Turkey Soup? Get Real … Haven’t You Had Enough Turkey? Well, dears, haven’t you had enough of the bird by now? Did you really come here expecting to find yet another way to consume the leftovers? Here is some free advice: if you have that much leftover, next time buy a smaller bird. You are wasting America’s resources by firing up the ovens for so many hours, and your reward is turkey-based meals for four days.

Oh, sure – a repeat repast the next day is fine, and you can struggle through a few sandwiches over the long weekend, but can you really be looking forward all that much to a big simmering pot of turkey bones? The Soup Lady doubts it and says no to turkey soup. Instead, try this snappy little shot of sunshine. Well, sunshine if our Sol was a red dwarf, I guess. It is irresistable, even under a yellow sun.

Mrs. Smith’s Zippy Beet Soup
Into a large mixing bowl, place:
canned red beets, cut into 1/2″ dice – with the juice
two cucumbers -peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2″ dice
one hard boiled egg, peeled and finely diced
3 Scallions, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
4 cups of low-fat chicken broth or, for the timid, water
2/3 cup of white vinegar
fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least four hours. When ready to serve, add 3/4 cup sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings.

The Soup Lady likes extra vinegar. Act surprised.

P. S. Unlike Betty Crocker or Uncle Ben, there really is a Mrs. Smith, but not the one that makes the pies. This one has hair that is the same color as Lucy Ricardo’s.

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The Yuck And Yum Of It

Don’t come around here on Friday looking for a recipe for Turkey Soup made from your holiday leftovers. The Soup Lady says “Yuck.”

I know – it’s heresy to find a statement like that on a site devoted to soup, but really, there must be limits. My advice is to make Turkey Croquettes.

Remember: Turkey Soup = Yuck. Turkey Croquettes = Yum.

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Sit up straight in your seats and look smart:

When the weather turns chilly and apples start falling from the trees, it is a natural thing to reflect on the abundance that we have. Start tallying up the things you have to be thankful for so that when you are sitting down at the table on Thursday, you are not just sitting there with your teeth in your mouth thinking: “If I’m the first one to shoot my arm out as soon as the prayer is over, I may be able to snag that big slice of white meat with the skin still on it.” Be thankful for what you have and say so to those around you.

Sometimes life can be unfair, things happen and people find themselves in an unexpected place. Soup kitchens have traditionally been a refuge for the hungry. Make a difference by giving what you can or volunteering your time.
You can organize the stock, package the goods or serve hot meals on the holiday or any day.

Find a Soup Kitchen Near You – Search For Soup Kitchens by State
Cul-De-Sacs and Soup Kitchens – the New Suburban Poor
Soup Kitchens See Heavy Demand
Volunteer – Kosher Soup Kitchens
Soup Kitchens – Facts and Statstics
From Sit-Ins To Soup Kitchens – A Different Kind of Activism

So count your blessings, find a way to help others and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

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Navy Bean Soup at the Gateway Cafe

Today the Soup Lady broke away from the terrible drudgery of the office to indulge in a little fresh air and a good lunch. The destination was an unassuming little place in a strip mall. It’s a family-owned restaurant done up in a red leatherette/pseudo-50’s/Betty Boop theme – an almost unbearable decor that is saved by the white lace cafe curtains – but the sandwiches are great and they have specials to make your mouth water.

Today’s special was Pulled Pork on a kaiser roll with Navy Bean Soup. How could you go wrong? While the pork was tender and moist and heavily seasoned with sage, the soup had no flavor at all. Oh, it looked good – all thick and colorful with shredded carrots in it, and it smelled good – little wisps of steam carrying the aroma right up to you – but the beans tasted as if they had been cooked seperately and then dumped into the broth. A great disappointment. We won’t be falling for that one again.

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OK, here’s my plan to maintain good health throughout the coming winter: Frequent ingestion of Hot and Sour soup. Why not? It’s filled with good things – vinegar and hot pepper to purge the germs from your system, soybean curd to infuse a little estrogen, plus everybody’s favorite health food: pork. How could you go wrong?

After an extensive search through all of the surrounding suburban stripmalls, I found that the best version comes from Wing Hing in the Strathmore Town Center mall, but even they sometimes use those vile canned mushroom slices. Which I preteniously prefer to call tinned mushroom slices. And so I have set off on a quest to see if this is something I could produce in my test kitchen. I googled “hot and Sour Soup” and got this.

So I took a look, and the first three recipes that I opened had plenty of sour, but nothing hot. Maybe they weren’t paying attention to the name. The next recipe had hot ingredients (I think), but seemed to be just a tad too exotic for a first go-round, what with its bruised
lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, prik ki nu and coconut shoots
. The next listing calls for rehydrated woodears and how about the one that requires tiger lily buds, which I just happen to have. Woodears seem to be a common ingredient in many of the recipes, but here is one where the plagarist must have been copying in a hurry and scribbled down “cloudears”.

Really, all I want is hot and sour soup that contains fresh mushrooms. Is that so much to ask? It looks like a fairly big job to work one’s way through all of these recipes. Maybe a whole winter’s occupation. Stay tuned.

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