Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dueling soups

The other night, I had a transitional season cooking moment. I had a full box from our farmers with loads of summer squash, a bouquet of oregano, the biggest, ripest tomato of the season, and more onions than I have seen in our house in a long time. I also had some portobello mushrooms I picked up on sale and some lentils I'd been hungry for. What to do? Dueling soups.

The summer soup started with a sautee of onions, then summer squash and tomato. I added water, oregano, a few kidney beans, and some balsamic vinegar. If I had a lemon, I think I'd add a splash of lemon juice next time for a more Mediterranean taste.

The fall soup started with a sautee of onions, too, but instead of diced, I cut them in long slivers. (I was going for a French onion soup feel.) Next I added big hunks of portobello. After those looked cooked, I added water, a splash of red wine, oregano, a few bay leaves, a few cloves, and lentils. I let it simmer a long time, so it got stew-like.

The night I made them, we had the fall soup accompanied by a carmelized onion flatbread pizza from our neighbor Eat Local. Very good. Then the next night, we had the summer soup served with Greek roast potatoes (garlic, olive oil, oregano, garbanzos) and pita. Also very good. Win, win.


"Mockingjay" was the first of the Hunger Games trilogy that we read aloud. (It was the first that we didn't have an ARC of, so this was the first time Jordan and I were both racing to read Collins before someone at work let something slip.)
I don't want to give anything away, but I do want to say I thought this was a satisfying end to a beloved trilogy. Yes, I did want a little more interaction between two specific characters... ask me if you want to know more. And yes, Katniss did seem a little more whine-y than in the previous books, but the poor girl has been through so much, I think she earned the right to whine some!
Also, thank you to the gods of read-aloud and my dear husband for giving me the chapter with my favorite line in the whole book... I was super-pumped to get to pretend to be Katniss declaring, "IF WE BURN, YOU BURN WITH US!" I flexed and showed my Mockingjay fake tattoo. Then I spent the rest of the week wanting to say things like, "If I do dishes, YOU DO DISHES WITH ME!" "If I go to hear a DJ, YOU GO TO HEAR A DJ WITH ME!" "If I dust the biography section, YOU DUST THE BIOGRAPHY SECTION WITH ME!"
Thanks, everyone in my life, for indulging me while I savored the book and all the high-energy empowerment that came with it.
For more about "Mockingjay" and the trilogy, I highly Katie Roiphe's essay from The New York Times Book Review.