Sunday, 3 November 2013

Talk Soup

Fundies say the darndest things. On a You Tube thread, I pointed out to a Jesus freak that contrary to his stated opinion, the issue of gay marriage was indeed a political one. One group wants something, another group is adamant they shall not have it, and both pressure our leaders to decide in their favour - a no-fucking-brainer, really. He replied:

I believe that it's not debatable as far as God is concerned. But I also keep an open mind. God gives us the power to overcome things. [meaning homosexual desire, presumably] He gave us refrigeration to overcome death by shellfish and tampons to overcome "unclean" times in womanhood. With God, all things are possible.

FFS... I rejoindered:

God gave us refrigeration and tampons, huh? Look up 'history of tampons' and see how women have coped with this unintelligent design feature over the centuries. Why did he wait until the late 19th century to make refrigeration a possibility? Think of the lives that could have been saved had he inspired people earlier. 

This cuts no ice with your Bible Belt Bible-bewitched Biblebot. They won't credit human beings with even a spark of ingenuity save in the service of lies and skullduggery. The response was simply:

Think of how many souls could have saved (sic) if they had accepted God. 

Never mind. It's inevitable they'll accept gay marriage in the end - then claim credit for having successfully overcome the wicked world's homophobia, which God has always hated.

Sod them. Let's talk about soup.

When, as now, it turns back-endish, it's gratifyingly cheap, simple and healthy to boil up a big pan of root veg, garlic and herbs, and whizz it into soup to eat with dark, wholemeal bread as the rain lashes the windows. It's nice to work up an appetite by pondering what colour and texture of soup you fancy: broccoli-spinachy green, beety purple, carroty-turnipy orange, creamy or nubbly. I use cannellini beans when I want a smooth, creamy texture, because I don't like real cream. I usually chuck in some white wine or dry sherry. This weekend I had a hankering for a rich fish soup. I had specific gustatorial, visual and textural requirements for this one, so it took a bit of thought and research. Here's what I came up with.       

First, take a bulb of garlic, separate the cloves, toss them in a little olive oil and bung them in the oven until they turn soft and creamy. Meanwhile, fry some onions in olive oil with a bunch of thyme. It's amazing how many recipes tell you to pick the leaves off the thyme: who could be arsed? I just throw in a bunch of stalks and then fish them out before I make with the blender. I wanted this soup to be yellow, so when the onions had softened I threw in a chopped yellow pepper and a chopped leek. I got the yellow pepper from a stall on the High Street where six peppers of assorted hues were a pahnd a bowl, unlike at Marks and Sparks where you pay at least that for one. It means finding a use for two green peppers, though - any suggestions? It became obvious that the soup wouldn't be yellow enough, so I added a tiny bit of turmeric. I slung in a can of cannellini beans, water and a couple of fish stock cubes, and boiled it all up. When the vegetables were done, I put in a small piece of smoked haddock, and after a few minutes, squeezed the soft creamy garlic from the skins, added them, and blended the lot to a puree. I remembered to remove the thyme first.

These soups always taste better if they're allowed to sit and fester for a few hours. While mine was doing this, I roasted a red pepper, scraped it not too assiduously, chopped it into little cubes and added it to the soup. Seven hours later, I brought the soup back to the boil, threw in a slug of white wine, and some cubes of smoked haddock and some of muscular, bright red wild salmon. This last was extravagant, but I can't abide that slithery pink farmed stuff. Well, it was bloody marvellous with bread and a glass of dry sherry, which was just as well, because it wasn't cheap and considerably more time-consuming than my usual boil-it-up-and-blend-it efforts. Any suggestions for dairy-free improvement will be considered.  

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