Asparagus + leek +  mushroom risotto

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 cups water
  • .5 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bunch asparagus, grilled at 400F for 10 minutes
  • .5 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted
  • salt, pepper, parmesan to taste
  1. Saute the onion until golden brown.
  2. Add rice; stir dreamily for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the first 3 cups of water one by one, stirring regularly and replenishing the liquid as soon as it starts getting puny.  I know that this seems like a nuisance–but it won’t be, really, if you’re chopping the leeks and watching Rachel Maddow along the way.
  4. Dump in another cup of water, along with the leeks and mushrooms.
  5. You will know when the final cup is needed, just as everything is starting to look almost done.
  6. Top with asparagus and parmesan.
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You know what I just spent 74 minutes doing?  Chiseling ice out of a troublesome spot on our rooftop deck, prompted by a fresh ceiling stain on the floor below.   The endeavor involved a hair dryer, an extension cord, a towel, a broom, a pair of scissors, copious cursing, fingertips teetering on the very edge of frostbite, and a moist wind nipping at my arse three stories above a frozen lake.

So!  Now that you know all about my Friday evening, how about that soup I promised you in the title?

Leek and potato soup with a twist

  • 4-5 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 blue potato
  • 2 purple yams
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 leek
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • something pretty for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • any other seasonings you feel like (let’s see… I seem to recall some lemon pepper and oregano)
  1. Boil all the vegetables in seasoned water until tender (approximately 20 minutes).
  2. Add coconut milk.
  3. Blend in the food processor, or with one of these magic bunnies.

The end product was rather surprising to me, I must say.  It almost had a licorice-like undertone (purple yams, is that you?), but not to the point where a licorice-hater (moi) would be turned off.

And let me just say, on a final note, that I fully realize that my faint ceiling spot and my soup with fancy tubers are truly ridiculous compared to what’s going on in Haiti as I type.  My heart hurts.

Monday kicked my butt.  I actually thought I was masking my scatter-brainedness rather well with a carefully choreographed series of motions and scripted exchanges delivered at strategically chosen times over the course of the day… until I tried to make dinner.  And washed an onion.  And, while opening a can of garbanzo beans, got splashed with bean juice both on the forehead and, intriguingly, up by my left elbow under a long sleeve. And then sat down to write about it and typed “eggplant” with two ts.  And typed “typed” with two ps.

But you know what’s great about eggplantt and leeks and cracked wheat and garbanzo beans?  You really can’t go wrong, even with markedly diminished cognitive skills.  For that, on a night like this, I’m most grateful.

Cracked wheat with eggplant + leeks + garbanzo beans

  • 1 cup cracked wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Chinese eggplant
  • 1 leek
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can tomato sauce (my cupboard suggested “Spanish style” and I didn’t argue)
  1. I sauteed the cracked wheat in some olive oil just because that made me happy.  Then the water joined the party, and it all boiled and then simmered for some 20 minutes or so.
  2. In the meantime, I sauteed the onion and eggplant in a separate skillet, all the while getting rather distracted by The Daily Show.  So, I think I added oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.  It kind of tasted like I had.
  3. Then, when the eggplant and onions became soft, the leeks and tomatoes went in for an additional couple of minutes.  And lastly, after the forehead + elbow splash incident, the garbanzos jumped in.
  4. And then we ate and were happy.