Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

She's Back!

So I didn't cook a single thing all week. What with two dinners out and, more significantly, the leftover Baked Penne, there was neither time nor need. This has been fairly traumatic, not just because I cook to unwind, but because last Monday, while browsing the cookbook section of The Strand, I found this book.

Devorit and I adore Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It's our go-to source for every culinary question not involving meat and a fantastic inspiration. Although I'm not presently vegetarian, I try to eat meat in no more than a quarter of my meals. "The Madison," as we call VCfE, is invaluable in that regard, but honestly, I've given the book to avowed carnivores and they universally love it. It's just an awesome book.

Typical conversation between Devorit and me:

Devorit: So, I bought some parsnips.
BNA: Dude. Cool. What're you going to do with them?
D: Beats me. Going to check the Madison.
B: You are wise.

The Madison's never let me down. I didn't get her second-latest book, Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen, showing what I thought was rather heroic restraint. But when I found her new Vegetarian Soups book, nothing could keep me away.

I've read it through and earmarked about twelve recipes as "to try immediately." I started this afternoon with this one, which she rather coyly calls "Delicious Dieter's Soup." Not a fan of the name, but I'm thrilled with the soup. Don't let the mild-mannered appearance fool you -- the chile and ginger give it a savory heat, the lime a bright tang, and the miso a wonderful roundness.

Delicious Dieter's Soup
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen

Makes about 10 cups.

4 c. chopped green cabbage
2 med. celery ribs, sliced on the diagonal
1 sm. onion, thinly sliced
1 med. carrot, thinly sliced
12 fat garlic cloves, 6 thinly sliced and 6 finely chopped
4 T. grated ginger
1 jalapeno chile, seeded if you prefer less heat, finely diced
juice of 1 lime
0.33 c. white miso
roasted sesame oil, optional

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large soup pot with a lid. Add the cabbage, celery, onion, carrot, and sliced garlic cloves. Cover and cook (at a boil) for 20 minutes.

Stir in the chopped garlic cloves, ginger, and chile; turn off the heat. Add the lime juice and the miso and stir to dissolve. That's it. If you like, add a few drops of roasted sesame oil to your bowl.

* One cup is 1 Point.
* I accidentally chopped about six cups of cabbage, so I added an extra 2 c. water and it didn't seem to make a difference.
* I included the seeds and veins of the chile and enjoyed the heat, but next time I'd probably add another. I'm demented.


  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger karina said…

    Welcome back! ;-) This soup sounds quite yummy. I love cabbage soups.

    [And love your dialogue.] Dude.

  • At 8:39 PM, Blogger BNA said…

    hey Karina! I've realized that I really like cabbage soups, too. Not wild about raw cabbage, but soups are another matter.

    And yeah, I'm pretty free with the Dudes. You can take the girl out of the OC, but... :)

  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Tania said…

    Hurray for The Madison! She rocks. I used to boil corn on the cob for 15 minutes before she instructed me to cook them for 3 minutes, max. Excellent!

    Must get this soup book now.


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