Let this be a cautionary tale to all who venture into the culinary world. Not only to those of you who feel that you know your way around, but especially to those who are timid in the kitchen. For let it be known, that it doesn’t matter HOW good of a cook you think you are, mistakes CAN happen!
I had the day off and it was a bit miserable out so I didn’t really feel like venturing out to the store and thought that a nice soothing bowl of soup would be in order.
I always have the usual suspects on hand, carrots, onions, celery, the base of any good soup. I also had some nice cremini mushrooms to use up and had a nice jar of split yellow peas.
So I set out to make a nice curried split pea mushroom soup.
Into the Dutch oven tossed diced:
- 1 medium onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 stalks celery ( leafy ones if you have them)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
I stirred those and let them cook till they became a bit wilted. Then I added:
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup rinsed yellow split peas
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp curry powder
This was stirred well and cooked for a few minutes then I added about:
- 3 -4 cups of water ( or enough to completely submerge everything else)
Stir again, bring to a boil then turn down to a lower temperature to simmer.
But I felt I would be a little more ambitious because I thought this is what we will have for dinner so I better make it a little more substantial.
So I called The Chef at work. “Hey, do you have any meat in the freezer?”
Whenever we eat roasts or whatever, and there are left overs ( rarely but it happens) The Chef wraps them up and tosses them in the freezer for “your soup”.
I am often just as guilty with brocoli butts or ends of asparagus, wrapped up and tossed in the freezer.
So our freezer is filled with a lot of weird little frozen bags of stuff waiting to become “soup stock”.
“Yes, there is a bag with a few beef short ribs in there, just enough to beef up some soup.” The Chef replied
I hung up the phone and went to the freezer. I grabbed the first bag I found of hard brown squares. Perfect. I unwrapped it and dropped the frozen together hunk into the already simmering soup. Didn’t matter that they were frozen solid, they would thaw quickly and cook up in the soup.
I went on about my business.
About a half hour later I went back to stir the soup and make sure the meat had loosened up so I could stir it properly through the soup.
Imagine my surprise, when there was NO meat to be found!!! What the WHAT??
“Oh no” I thought as I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. That wasn’t the short ribs was it?
From time to time The Chef will go all “Haute Cuisine” on me and will spend the day making the Fancy French Stuff!
For instance, he will spend a day, painstakingly making demi glace. A process cooking meat down and down further to make an exquisite nectar used in fancy sauces. Then he will put it into ice-cube trays and freeze it for later use. Do you see where I’m going with this??
This is the kind of stuff that only a cube or two would be required to add eminence flavour to your dish.
So yeah….I dumped a WHOLE bag of frozen demi glace cubes into my soup.
Is that a problem you ask? Well, firstly I just wasted a very precious product in plain old soup and I just made the soup SUPER rich!
I kept digging in the freezer and finally found the meat I was looking for. Good thing, because now with the rich beef flavour of the soup, I might as well actually have meat in it!!
I have to admit, it was some fine tasting soup but………I’m gonna be in trouble when The Chef goes to use his demi glace!!