Archive for the ‘chatter’ Category

Hello, Souplings!

Greetings, Souplings! It’s the Soup Lady here, just getting used to the place before I move all of my stuff in. Republished below is the first post that was entered on the original site at Blog-Spot on 9/23/01:

. . . . . . .

What is this?

Welcome to the plog (short for souplog.)

I’m planning on documenting all of the soup that I make at home or consume elsewhere.

Here is where I will post the recipes for the soups that I make, or tell the tale of soup that I had that was prepared by someone else.

Doesn’t sound too exciting? I didn’t want to break all the news at once – hang onto your hats: I will also be taking camshots of the soup I prepare as it is served in my collection of vintage American dinnerware!

As soon as I get a camera.

This blog design will compliment my dishes perfectly. As a matter of fact, I may even throw in some facinating details about the pattern of the dishes that are showcased. And maybe a shot of the dishes when they are not in use.

This could be good. This could be very, very good.

. . . . . . .

The astute reader will notice that the term “plog” was coined here long before Amazon.com put their mitts on it. And before the guys at PlogWorld, too. That should give you all some idea of what a trend setter I am.

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Super Bowl Soup

or Get A Grip. Nobody Wants Soup on Super Bowl Sunday

The Soup Lady understands that there is a time and a place for everything and soup is not the snack food of choice for the Super Bowl crowd. It is what it is. I accept it and move on.

Pity the poor fools who would advise you to make chili. Or get this: 15 Suggestions for a Healthy Super Bowl Party. The Soup Lady couldn’t care less about football, but even I know better than to tell someone to “order a pizza without the cheese” or to invite them over and then crank up the treadmill so they can exercise while watching the game:

No, the Soup Lady recommends that you follow these simple rules to feed your SuperBowl Guests.

~ Simple is better. Don’t bother buying football-shaped plastic bowls fom the party store or little toothpicks with the team’s colors on the ends. It really isn’t necessary. In fact, don’t use toothpicks at all unless you want to make a trip to the local emergency room for a punctured palate.
~ No themed menus. Just because the Super bowl is in Texas this year doesn’t mean that you need to fire up the bar-b-que, make guacamole pr expect anyone to say “Howdy, Ma’am.”
~ Make food that doesn’t need utensils and can be easily eaten without tearing your eyes from the TV. Hero sanwiches, pizza, chips, nuts. And keep it coming. Draw the line at Buffalo wings.
~ Put down a drop cloth. Call it “my new area rug.”

That’s it. My advice is not for everybody – it’s geared towards that self-confident and secure minority who don’t feel a pressing need to bludgeon their guests over the head with clever party themes and frilly presentations. Call off the diet and go all out. Serve the traditional high-fat, excessively-salty, dare-I say-it? junk food. That kind of food is self-limiting – no one can really pack away all that much of it and your guests will remember it as a really good time.

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Soup Terrorists

Like a child bravely sticking out it’s tongue at an adult authority figure then quickly running away, this article from the Financial Times of London strikes a blow at the French self-proclaimed superiority when it comes to soup. What I find most interesting about it is the concept of the annual soup festival. How much more appealing that is than the Pillsbury Bake-Off or so many dreary local chili and barbeque competitions.

” … Every autumn for more than a decade the Confr鲊e has organised an annual soup festival, a competition between 12 Voconces villages … In a celebration that lasts 12 nights, each village has an evening in which a dozen or so village cooks battle it out to decide who makes the best soup. And although the final decision is made by a jury of Confr鲊e tasters, everybody is invited to the local Salle des Fetes to sample the different soups. People show up by the hundreds, soup and wine flow in quantity, and a good time is had by all. At the festival’s end, the finalists and their soups meet in a run-off to decide the overall victor.”

link found via Saute Wednesday

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Hummus? My Aunt Fanny!

What’s up with the new plague of bean-based paste being pushed as hummus?

Hummus is made with chick peas. Period. If it’s not made out of chick peas, it’s not hummus and all the fancy descriptions on a menu will not make it hummus.

In the very recent past, The Soup Lady has had several abominations foisted upon her under the guise of hummus, but let me tell you something: chick peas. Get it?

One such concotion was made suspiciously white, tasteless and without body. Since it was found in an Italian restaurant/pizzeria, one suspects that cannelini beans (the veal of the bean world) were the culprit. Heavy on the garlic; light on the bean flavor.

And just this week in a fancy Philadelphia restaurant, the bread was served with an artfully arranged plate of butter and a small pot of orange paste introduced as hummus. Now you know you got trouble when it comes at you all orange. But I tried it because I am nothing if not open-minded. What? Never mind. It could only have been red lentils. I find it very telling that it was pushed upon us as part of the bread service instead of being listed on the menu for a price. I decline to review it except to say that the butter was heavily salted and very tasty.

Let’s get with the program here: hummus=chick peas. If you’re not using chick peas, just call it bean paste and get it over with.

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The Soup Lady regrets to annouce that the Panel of Judges has revolted and left the test kitchen.

In an unbelieveable turn of events, they were overheard muttering “no more soup. no more soup.” It soon became a chant and then a roar.

Then they told me they had to go out to pick up the newspaper.

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The Soup Lady is in high dudgeon today as she gets wind of this: someone else is using the term “PLOG”!

The Soup Lady would like the record to state that she invented the term “plog” on 9/23/2001 – way back when The Soup was still located at blog*spot. Scroll down! There’s the evidence!

Harrumph.Ok – the Soup Lady feels better that this is on the record now, but she feels sheepish that she did not copyright the name. The is the original plog, dammit! Accept no subsitutes!

No hard feelings, but The Soup Lady advises you to be most careful when applying a plog to your Palm Pilot. Make sure you are using the appropriate plog -otherwise you could have one messed up PDA. Or a tasty one, anyway.

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According to this New York Times Magazine article, ” Louis XIV began every evening meal with an array of soups, ranging from broths to rich and thick concoctions … His sister-in-law Princess Palatine wrote that ”very often” the king ate as much as ”four plates of different soups …”

And, my dears, this is exactly what I did on Saturday. After a picture perfect afternoon of lesiurely holiday shopping, lunch was had at Russel’s Restaurant. This place has an extensive menu and they excell at soup.

As you can see from their menu, they offer eight standing soups and two soups du jour. Although I usually cannot pass up the most excellent Wild Mushroom Soup, I decided to go crazy and order the Sensational Soup Sampler.

What a delightful surprise I had when a large charger was delivered to the table with three 6 oz. cups of soup, three spoons and three cracker/breads. Of the three soups I had chosen, ony one disappointed.

Beef with Wild Rice – this was the broth Soup du Jour, but it was thick and heavy with barley. It had an unexpected aftertaste of spiciness that was thrilling.

Boston Clam Chowder – this one sounded the most enticing and it won my vote for appearance appeal as well, but it was a crashing disappointment. It was a cream-based soup with colorful bits floating about – one could hardly expect to go wrong with potatoes, bacon and dill – but I give it my most devastating descrption: it was bland.

Russel’s Crab – my new #1 choice when visiting this establishment in the future. It was plain in appearance and I didnt hold out much hope for it, but Oh, my dears! An exposion of crabbiness in the most delightful way! The look of it was smooth, there was nothing drooping off the bowl of the spoon, but the texture was pure shredded crab in the most subltely flavored light cream sauce.

My companion ordered the Shrimp Bisque Gourmet which was pleasant in appearance – a lovely shade of pinkish/orange that a decorator would call “Shrimp” – and she was quite taken with the heady aroma of tarragon wafting up from the bowl. The Soup Lady managed to be on the recevining end of many sample spoonsful, and it was good, but at the time, I was swooning over the Crab Soup. And so that made Soup #4 – just like Louis used to do it.

The chef happily gave up his recipe (with personal notations) for the Shrimp Bisque – yeild 5 gallons. We’ll have to adjust it for home portions and test run it past the Panel of Judges.

If you find yourself in the charming college town of Bloomsburg, Pa., don’t miss the opportunity to stop in for lunch or dinner at Russel’s. Try the soup.

CAVEAT: as a general rule, the Soup Lady does not recommend attempting the Soup of the Day just anywhere. I suspect it is made from old entrees that did not sell, as an alternative to throwing them out. Even if it ends up tasting good, one can never get over the suspicion that it’s only mashed up leftovers heated to the point of bacteriocide. Use your judgement.

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