This week has been unseasonably chilly, which caused my brain to short-circuit a little when figuring out what to wear to work. (“Seventy degrees. In September. Does this call for pants? I feel like that means pants, but 70 also seems…not cold enough for pants. Wait, everything is still going to be SUPER air-conditioned, too. Do I find a coat?”) The nice thing about cooler weather is that soup finally sounds good again. Tim and I had gone through a couple of issues of Vegetarian Times a few weeks ago to pick out recipes to attempt. Though a few of the soups sounded good, we hadn’t been able to make ourselves stand in a hot kitchen in 85 degree weather and simmer vegetables, so they sat on the list. (However, we did roast pub potatoes during that time, so there might have been a bit of a priority system at play. But hot crispy potatoes always sound good, so…)
With a chilly, windy day on Tuesday, soup finally sounded like the answer to the dinner question, so I unearthed my slippers (because soup season and slipper season seem to go hand in hand) and started assembling this Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup from the March issue of Vegetarian Times. Since I am not at all fond of bell peppers, I omitted them and substituted more onion and a stalk and a half of celery. (The other half-stalk I slathered with peanut butter as a snack, since Tim didn’t expect to be back from his run until after 7:30.) I also substituted a cup of veggie stock for the water for more flavor. I got to break out my immersion blender, a gift from my in-laws for my birthday last year, and pureed the soup, though next time I’d reduce the amount of water added, as it was a little thin. I was excited to see that Tim had grabbed Yukon Gold potatoes from the store on Monday, because their creamy texture is fantastic. Tim suggested we have one of the farmers’ market tomatoes he’d gotten that day with some bread, to make the soup into a meal.
For dinner tonight, we are having the other soup from our list of recipes to try, a chickpea and greens curried soup which a reader had submitted. It is gently simmering away downstairs, until Tim gets home from his run tonight. One of the nice things about soup season is that timing tends to be very forgiving, so Tim can just give me a basic idea of when he might finish running and the soup, stew or chili can merrily simmer away and blend flavors until we’re ready for dinner. Something with a super-long simmer time (this one calls for an hour) is also ideal for throwing together when you’re nearing the end of a day of working on the house, so if this is good, we’ll definitely add it to the rotation.
There is something deliciously welcoming about the fragrance of your from-scratch soup drifting into all the rooms of your home. I can smell the curry all the way upstairs and I can’t wait to dish it up. The first soup of the season was tasty and cozy and got me daydreaming about all of the lovely fall foods that are just around the corner. With the weather threatening to creep back up to 80 next week, I probably won’t go off the deep end into squash and molasses just yet, but I am looking forward to the first batch of gingersnaps.