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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Creamy Vegetable Soup

I have been trying to decide what to share with you today, then I realized that all of the recipes that I made this weekend either consisted of soup or pretzels.  And since pretzels are delegated for Thursdays post, I am giving you some more delicious soup!  I have been quickly going through my stock of stocks (hah!) because of one person.  Boyfriend.

Boyfriend has come down with some sort of fever-raising, cough-inducing sickness, brought on by the below-human temperatures that exist in his office.  I think that many people deal with the same thing at this time of year, especially if you work in an office and most definitely if you work in a lab.  These two environments are not good at regulating temperatures.  Office buildings are broken up into little rooms and it is unlikely that there will be a heat register in each office.  This means that some offices are a million degrees and some offices are freezing cold.

The same hot/cold situation exists in most lab spaces as well, but for a completely different reason.  Chemists work inside of hoods, which are basically like your oven hood, except our hoods are completely enclosed and have doors that raise and lower like a garage door.  These hoods pull air in from the lab space and send it out through the filters on the roof.  The rate of air being pulled out of the lab isn't always matched by the amount of air replaced by the heaters.  Hence, the labs and offices get pretty chilly.

Look how thick and delicious!!!
I have the ability to throw on an additional sweater under my labcoat, where boyfriend has to look like a business guy and not wear layers of jackets around the office.  Therefore he gets chilly and lowers his defenses to the cold and flu viruses floating about in the office.  Then he gets sick and I feed him lots of vegetables and vitamins!
One Year Ago: Thai Chicken Curry

Creamy Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Vegetarean Times Cookbook

I was really surprised by this soup.  It looks really, really green and vegetabley.  I was concerned that it would be too much vegetable for the guy who loves mac'n'cheese and chicken nibblers.  Luckily, the addition of the oatmeal really mellows out the flavors and brings everything together.  The flavor of the stock really shines through (I used my homemade stock!) so be sure to use a good quality stock.  If you want more broccoli flavor, just add another cup!

Olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1/2 large white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
3 cups vegetable stock (plus 1/2 cup more)
1 cup rolled oats
salt & pepper

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, broccoli and garlic and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, stir often.  Add 3 cups stock, thyme and basil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer entire pan to a blender and blend until smooth.  Return to the pan and keep warm over low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you think the soup is a little thick, add final 1/2 cup stock.  Serve to your sick loved ones with a big slice of bread.
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