Archive for October, 2005

Tang Pie

file under:  I Eat It So You Don’t Have To

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun and the Soup Lady is auditioning old-fashioned crowd pleasers for the big day. Trendy, chi-chi, healthful or even moderately nutritious just won’t do for this biggest of food holidays. No – calories, cholesterol and other modern standards of culinary decency be damned.

Dishes offered on this holiday ideally should be made of a combination of the following attributes: seasonal produce, family tradition, rich & decadent, extravagant presentation, and/or warm and spicy. At the very least, it should a color of the season.  Today’s recipe is pale orange in color and that’s about it.

Ask your self these questions: Am I tired of the 500 Ways to Serve Pumpkin?  Are there too many celebrations of the cranberry? Is your personal creedo No Jello Under Any Circumstances? Are you now or have you ever been enamored of astronauts? If you’ve answered YES to any of these, then here is something just right for you:

Tang Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust, baked.

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 8-oz carton sour cream

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Tang powder. 
1 8-oz tub Cool Whip.

1. Mix the milk, sour cream, and Tang together. 
2. Fold in half of the Cool
3. Spoon into the pie shell. 
4. Top with the rest of the Cool Whip.
5. Chill.

(The exceedingly adventurous may substitute any other sort of instant drink powder)

recipe found at Chef Andy’s Jell-O Pages

As the former frat house resident who actually assembled this concoction points out, Tang is about as adventurous as you can get when it comes to instant drink powder as a dessert ingredient. And how was it?

It was heavy in every sense of the word: heavy to lift out of the refrigerator, heavy enough by the forkfull to require a better-than-average grip on the cutlery,  heavy on the stomach after it goes down and heavy on the concience for serving it to your friends and family. It’s also waaaay too sweet and leaves you with unpeasantly sour aftertaste. On the plus side, it was very creamy and had a delightful pale orange color but that is not enough to save it.

Recommendation: leave this one alone or at best, treat this  as an urban myth.  Instead of serving this at the end of a good meal, print out this picture, show it around and speculate about it for a bit of post-prandial entertainment.


The Soup Lady is no home economist so please don’t consider this as official nutritional labeling, but a rough additon of the total calories of the ingredients divided by 8 gives you about 600 calories per serving.  Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya?

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The Soup Lady recently had occasion to visit King’s Fish House in California and ordered some White Bean and Salmon soup.

The menu proudly announces that the soups are made fresh daily from scratch. It remains unclear what exactly they were scratching when they made this one because it was a huge disappointment.  Although the chunks of salmon in the bowl were sizable and plentiful, I don’t recall any actual beans in there and the tomato-based broth was quite watery.

Never one to give up at the first skirmish, the Soup Lady continued to think about just how good this  could be. A little internet research turned up a few recipes that were surprisingly different beyond the basic beans and fish ingredients. After a week in the test kitchen, I find that this one is the best of the bunch.

The recipe comes from  Prevention.com so you know it’s got to be good for you, too. The website says:  "The ingredients in this hearty meal not only help prevent cancer and heart disease–they also stave off ulcers."  Stave off more than that, I bet, with its double whammy of cabbage and beans in the same pot. Have mercy!


White Bean Soup with Cabbage and Salmon

1 cup navy beans, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight
2½ cups water

2 cups chicken broth

6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
½ pound skinned salmon fillet, cut into 1" chunks
2 ounces (2 thick slices) Canadian bacon, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the beans, water, broth, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes, or until the beans are very tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the cabbage and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.

4. Add to the soup.

5. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the salmon and bacon. Sprinkle with the thyme.

6. Cook, stirring gently, for 3 minutes, or until the salmon is lightly browned and just opaque.

7. Gently stir the salmon mixture into the soup.         
Makes 4 Servings

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