19 February 2009

Virginian Peanut Soup

For dinner I had the foolhardy idea of making Virginian Peanut Soup from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Bittmen describes the soup as "elegant," which should have warned me right from the beginning—I don't think my sausage fingers could turn out something elegant if my life depended on it.

The basic idea of the recipe is cooking stock vegetables and bay leaves in five cups of your favorite broth, then straining the vegetables, then reheating the broth and strained vegetables with a ton of cream and some peanut butter. The hitch happened in the straining step. I was supposed to cook the vegetables until soft and then press them through a fine strainer into the soup. I made a huge mess every time I lifted up the strainer to check to see if the vegetables were indeed making it through the mesh. If they were I would clumsily scrape it off into the soup with a spoon, spattering the counter and my shirt. This step took forever and as far as I could tell just gave the soup an awkward texture. I gave up after about 10 minutes. Then I had to measure in so much cream (a whole cup!) that the soup ended up mostly tasting like cream.

This was my 2nd failure ever from this cookbook; almost everything else comes out so wonderfully! I should however mention that my husband and father-in-law loved it. They're apparently felines in disguise.

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