10/14/2010

Company's Coming. Now We're Cookin'

Well! My last post led me smack up against a brick wall- nary a thought shared nor a comment posted. So I have to now admit that sidewalk embellishments are more of a niche topic, and I shall send the post off to a bunch of urban planners. They may enjoy it.
In the mean time, I hope you all feel like eating. Food is a topic I love. Not only do I love eating, I love growing it, foraging for it, talking about preparation methods, and ultimately cooking it.
I am not one of those people who eat to live. No, I live to eat.  But I will never suffer from being too thin. (Or too rich sadly). However, I digress.
I achieve almost the same meditative state I get from taking a walk in the woods with my camera and binoculars when I'm in the kitchen, preparing something special. Not just anything though...the daily drudge does not induce peace. Just plain ol' boredom. As in ho hum, another supper, I wish they'd invent new food and I wish I could find the genie in the olive oil bottle, and he could do the dinner drive.
BUT! when company's coming, that's a whole other bag of groceries!
And so tonight, having first served frozen fish sticks and coleslaw (see what I mean? Pure drudgery), I am now cooking up a storm for guests who are coming for dinner tomorrow night.
On the menu:
Warm olives with orange slices, cheese and seeded crackers
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup
Mushroom Lasagne
Spinach, Pear and Pancetta Salad
Strawberry Rhubarb Vanilla Yogurt
The soup is first up, and is  pretty easy peasy...roast the veg to bring out the flavours, simmer in stock, puree, done.
I have never made this before, but it sounds delicious, I love eggplant, garlic , onion and tomato, so it should be tasty. Should may be the operative word here. We'll see.
It's not that I like to experiment on my guests, it's that  having guests ignites the creative cook within. And I have difficulty following specific directions and cooking within the pot so to speak.  Sometimes the results are disastrous...but not always.
Bathed with olive oil, it's into the oven  the veggies go for some flavour intensification. The kitchen  smells incredible as they mingle in the heat.


Once they've softened up somewhat, and browned a little, then it's time to make formal introductions and let them dance together in a slow simmering pot filled with a tangy broth with accents of cumin, pepper, and thyme...I'm making myself hungry here!

The flavour is rich, full bodied, earthy with a tangy lemon accent and back notes of pepper. It tastes wonderful as it's simmering away, but truthfully, doesn't look all that swell. The eggplant is quite stringy, a gelatinous mass.  I suspect once it's all pureed it will be a caramel colour..a bit odd for soup..but the taste! That will overide the visual, and I'll be sure to serve it by candle light.
or maybe in full light. Bon appetit!

                                                                                         ...to be continued.

9 comments:

steviewren said...

I've never been much of a fan of eggplants because of the whole stringy, a gelatinous mass thing, but the addition of cumin and thyme to the soup mix sounds interesting. Also the fact that the soup is pureed makes it sound better too. I want to know what your guests think of it.

I like making company food more that everyday fare too.

Susan said...

well, I can say that the taste test bowl passed in resident taster with flying colours! He absolutely loved it...and hopefully there's some left by the time dinner rolls around tonight!

jabblog said...

Well, now, that looks and sounds delicious. My trouble is that I can never stick to the recipe so my long-suffering husband has become expert at rescuing dishes.

DUTA said...

I could eat eggplants for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner - in a salad with tomatoe slices, onoion, lettuce, chopped egg and olive oil. I love it, and by the way, I eat to live not live to eat because I want to stay in shape.

robin andrea said...

I love the idea of a roasted vegetable soup. It never occurred to me to do such a thing. Wonderful idea, and it looks delicious.

Susan said...

Thanks Robin - it is really tasty!
Duta, I hear you -but I know some rail thin people who only eat because they have to, not because they enjoy it, or like food or cook for pleasure. I eat very healthily to stay in shape too, but I also like tastes, textures, smells as well.

Ruth said...

I am a vegetable person, but have not had good encounters with eggplants. I did try salting them a couple of weeks ago in another attempt to like them. Someone told me it takes out the "bitterness". It did help. The roasted veggies look very good and I like the menu.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

Yum, yum, yum! I'll have to give it a try. Matty is always trying to find recipes for eggplant. Who can resist a veggie that's purple?