Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt or, How to Salvage a Ruined Batch of Soup
I was looking through some Google results on The Magic Bullet for this post when I came across this site (which supplied this post’s title) and it had me nearly doubled over in laughter. If you’re looking for a good mid-day laugh, or just want to know what the hell the Magic Bullet is (a “Cuisinart for hookers,” obviously), you’ll want to check it out.
So having been inspired by Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake, I have begun trying to eat and shop a little more cheaply. I always have tons of halfway used bags of food in my freezer and pantry, so I decided to try my hand at making a quickie vegetable soup.
One of my favorite “office” lunches during the colder months (aka most of the year) is soup. Part of this (okay, a huge factor) is that I am lazy. I usually forget or don’t take the time to make a lunch the night before, so I’ll walk to the grocery store nearby and pick up a can of healthy-ish soup and a cucumber and piece of fruit to cut up. BAM. Healthy lunch, minimal effort.
Unfortunately, though, this tends to get expensive. While some soups are on the cheaper side, I try to get either something organic, or at least lower sodium, high-veggie, low-cal, etc. Those usually run $3-$4 a can. CRAZY, right?
So the other night, I simmered some onions and garlic with olive oil, added some veggie broth then cooked about a serving’s worth of pearled barley in the mix for an hour-ish. Turned out great…next step, add frozen veggies that I have hiding throughout my freezer and stealth canned goods from the pantry.
In the mix:
- Trader Joe’s fire roasted peppers + onions
- TJ’s cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
- Muir Farms diced tomatoes (no salt added kind)
- huge bag of Whole Foods’ new leafy greens mix, with kale, collard and mustard greens
Sounds delicious, right? Well…let’s just say I underestimated the size of the leafy greens bag. I dumped the whole thing in, thinking I could save some freezer space. Bad idea.
The soup turned into a big, mushy blob of cold leafy greens with a little bit of broth, beans and veggies floating around on top. It almost spilled over because the addition of the greens filled up the ENTIRE POT. I am really dumb, fo real.
I should have taken a picture to really emphasize the mess that was this soup, but I was too frazzled to even think about grabbing my camera. (Plus, my flash card reader hasn’t come in the mail yet). I tried manually scooping out some of the mess, but I kept getting bits of roasted peppers/onions and barley with it, and didn’t want to take out all that good stuff too.
After adding more water and veggie broth to effectively split the batch into two pots, I eventually gave up after scooping out maybe a cup’s worth of greens, packed the soup up in a container, and went out with a dude for some drinks. Although the individual ingredients didn’t cost very much, I was still mad at myself for wasting all that food, as well as doing something silly like dumping an ENTIRE package of kale into the soup without thinking about it. I tend to do stupid things like that sometimes. Welcome to my life.
But then, I had a brilliant idea. Since the soup was essentially ruined anyway, why not try one last ditch effort at salvaging it? I portioned out a small amount of the wet, goopy mound of kale mush and plopped it into my trusty Magic Bullet. (For those of you who are wondering, a Magic Bullet is a COUNTERTOP BLENDER/FOOD PROCESSER. I have made the mistake of referencing my “beloved magic bullet” in the presence of people who don’t know what it is, and needless to say, they thought I had an oversharing problem).
With a few quick pulses, the little blender whipped everything up into a smooth, creamy vegetable soup with lovely color and thickness, but still left some chunks of veggies and whatnot in tact. I was a little nervous about blending the mix because it seemed really odd to blend barley, plus I would lose the texture of the whole beans, but these were desperate times, people.
The true test, though, was of course the taste. I popped the little blender cup into the microwave (microwave safe, baby!) and brought the pseudo-soup nearly to a boil (things always taste better when they’re hot, in my opinion), took a deep breath and took a sip.
It was good! I had salvaged the unsalvageable! The Bullet left enough texture but still blended the greens into the brothy part enough to disguise their overabundance. It was a bit salty, rich but not fatty, smooth, creamy, delicious and best of all, INSANELY healthy. Really. I only used about 2 T of olive oil and three grinds of sea salt for two huge pots worth of soup.
I am a genius. Just wanted to share with you. That is all.