Saturday, May 23, 2020

Covid Cafe: Sopa Terra and Pickled Beets

Good day, chefs. I awoke exceedingly early today with a decidedly unseasonable taste for vegetable curry. I use this Mark Bittman chicken curry recipe to start, slicing and sauteing the onions with garlic and fresh ginger before adding double the tomatoes, double the coconut milk, triple the curry powder, and a whole host of chopped vegetables, today cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, and zucchini. No chicken.
Red cabbage makes pink curry

Make what sounds good to you. It's a holiday after all. Today Connie bring us an intriguing soup that you could make with things from a decently-stocked pantry and Rob gives us a quick lesson in pickled beets.

Sopa Terra
Connie writes: Years ago, a friend gave me a recipe for a “brown soup” she called sopa terra. It could easily be converted to suit vegetarians by using vegetable stock, though I can’t imagine it without the bacon topping. Fast and easy yet deeply satisfying.

In food processor, chop onion and garlic. Sauté in saucepan in melted butter until limp. 
Purée tomatoes in same processor (no need to clean it first) and add to onions and garlic, cooking over high heat for about 5 minutes. 
Blend beans with a bit of stock in processor and add to tomato mixture. Cook 5 more minutes. Add remaining broth and chili powder (I like a bit extra) and cook 10-15 minutes longer.  
To serve, place cubed or sliced cheese in bottom of bowl. Add hot soup and top with bacon. The hot soup melts the cheese. I like it with a few tortilla chips. 

(Ed note: and clearly with a lot of bacon!)

Sopa Terra
1 clove garlic
1 onion
3 T butter
2 med tomatoes or one can, partially drained
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp chili powder or more
1/4 pound Munster cheese, sliced or cubed
Bacon pieces

Yesterday I inter-planted these
Bumblebee cherry tomatoes with the greens

Pickled Beets
Rob sent us these pretty pix with a note: 
Fresh out of the steamer, ready to be peeled and assembled.

Beets, orange slices, sprig of rosemary, sweet vermouth, red wine, cloves, and ginger. 
Rob used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, which requires a subscription, but you can find numerous iterations online. 

These beauties are ready for the fridge and will last a month.

The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.
       The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.
       Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling. I move a foot and the planes of light in the water jar. I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me. The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day. I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots. The sky is blue and high. A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.

Rayando El Sol

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