Soupy McSoupsalot

That perhaps should be my nickname. I love soup. And I'm on my way to becoming a soup snob because soup from a can makes me pretty unhappy these days (the exception being tomato).
I've really always rather liked soup but it wasn't something my mother really made. Except sometimes when she made turkey soup after thanksgiving. But most of the time when she made turkey things it was her homemade turkey potpies which I will someday attempt to make. I just need to find someone stupid kind enough to help me.

Since I moved back to Montreal and got myself an apartment with this most wonderful contraption known as a "dishwasher" I find myself much more willing to cook things. And especially to cook things that involve washing things that I rather hate to wash by hand such as my blender. My blender has been getting a wonderful workout since I moved here. You see, I've made soup at least once a week since I moved into this apartment. I love soup. I love soup so much that I'm very, very tempted to go buy this immersion blender so that I can stop hauling out the pain in the ass blender every week (even though it's easier to clean now it's still a pain in the ass). So far I've managed not to walk the very short walk over to the Bay to buy it but I do have three days of vacation left and no plans so it very well may happen (and did you notice from the link that you can now do online shopping for a decent variety of items at the Bay??? ABOUT FREAKING TIME - ahem). (And also did you notice that this lovely little appliance is pretty and red???)

Yes, I know that many of your are saying right now, "But it's summer! And hot!" Very true! It is both. And has been both. And yet I still eat soup. And I confess to being very annoyed that many coffee shops etc do not serve much soup in the summer. Yes, it's hot. I am aware of that. But the thing is that a. I'm not big on sandwiches (never have been) and b. I get tired of salads. Soup is yummy and I get veggies and I tend not to feel weighed down after eating it. Which all means, to me, that it is a great summer lunch.

I am by no means a soup expert. So I look in my fridge and see what I have and then I google. And then I inevitably don't have things that recipes call for so I guess and I play. I mean how bad can things really go with soup? Ok, there was the time that I "played" with potato soup and basically ended up with soupy mashed potatoes - or at least that it what it tasted like. So I've learned to pay a bit more attention and heed more closely to recipes when there are potatoes involved. Although should you ever find yourself with soup that tastes like soupy mashed potatoes I can tell you from experience that topping it with shredded cheese and crispy chopped pancetta does wonders.

Since I've moved here I've made carrot soup, broccoli soup, potato broccoli soup, potato leek soup, and just today I made carrot ginger soup.

Today's carrot ginger soup quite simply kicks ass. It makes me very sad that I do not measure things. Nonetheless this is what I did. Most carrots soups (actually just most soups come to think of it) call for onions but since my friend Cat can't eat onions I've been trying to find more recipes that don't call for them (although I have no idea if she likes ginger...).

Sassymonkey's Throw It in a Pot Carrot Ginger Soup

1 small bag baby carrots
fresh ginger-root
Chicken broth*
Water
Orange juice*
White wine
Milk

Put the carrots in a pot. Peel and chop a chunk of ginger and add to pot (my chunk was about half an inch by 1 inch). Pour in chicken broth until the carrots are almost covered. Add a slash of wine. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Add water until carrots are covered. Bring to boil and simmer until carrots are mushy*.

Transfer carrots and the broth to blender and blend until smooth. The mixture will be fairly thick, more like carrot puree than soup. Transfer back to pot.  Add another splash of wine (well, you know you were topping up your glass anyway), a splash of orange juice (a couple of tablespoons) and mix.  Add milk until consistency you desire.  Heat but do not allow to boil.

That's it, that's all. Ladle into bowls and top with whatever you like. I added some chopped 1000-day old Gouda to mine (it's a very hard cheese - sort of like hard dark chocolate). Mmmm salty cheesy goodness. Parmesan would be good too.  If you add too much ginger and you find it too hot a dollop of plain yogurt would be tasty.
Monkey tipMonkey Tip #1: I find I prefer store-bought broth to stock. I find the stock too strong and too salty, even when I dilute it with water. I still dilute the broth with water. But maybe it's just me since everyone seems to love stock better but I find that broth has a mellower taste and doesn't overpower my soup the way stock does. Or maybe I don't really like strong chicken stock flavours because chicken likes to try to kill me.

Monkey tipMonkey Tip #2: There is a reason that a lot of soups and recipes call for wine. Wine is yummy and it makes the dish it is in yummy. But of course if you don't like wine or don't have wine you don't have to use it.

Monkey tipMonkey Tip #3: You really want the carrots to be mushy. Once I did not wait until my carrots were mushy and ended up with chunky soup. I don't recommend it. Soups should not be chewed.