I thought this project was going to kill me, if it killed anyone. But it might kill him instead… or make him kill me. Which, were it to happen, would probably be a justifiable homicide by any measure.
A sample of last night's cooking-related dialogue (note that this happened at around 10:15 p.m., immediately after I woke up from a nap, said nap having been brought on by too many nights in a row of up-til-5-working, and with at least six hours of work still looming ahead of me):
Jim: "Would you like me to make soup tonight?"
Me (almost, but not quite, too groggy to be nasty): "NO!"
Jim: "I think you should have 'guest soupmaker night' as part of this project."
Me: "NO! It's not Soup 365 if I don't make 365 soups BY MYSELF!"
Jim: "OK then…" [wisely not voicing the many things that were undoubtedly going through his mind]
And a little later…
Jim: "Can I wash these dishes for you?"
Me (scrubbing in a vigorous, martyred fashion at baking pans that have been left in the sink with suspicious crud burnt onto them): "NO!"
Jim: "Let me wash… then you can work on whatever else needs to get done."
Me: "NO! I can't do anything else until the sink is clean, so I might as well clean the sink." [Unvoiced but obvious subtext: "Why the hell wasn't the sink clean when I came in here?" A true charmer, I am.]
Jim: "OK then…" [wanders away]
Good thing it was a good soup. Who knows? The life I saved may have been my own.
Curried Spinach (and Arugula) Soup
One large russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
Water to cover said potato
6 Tbsp butter and/or olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
One 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
About 8 cups mixed greens, either all spinach or a mix of other stuff you have on hand–I had some arugula that was hovering on the verge of senescence, so I threw it in
1 Tbsp curry powder, either store-bought or home-mixed
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Juice of one (Meyer, if available) lemon–about 2 Tbsp
1 cup sour cream or whole-milk yogurt
Throw potato into a saucepan with enough water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp of butter or olive oil over medium heat. (I used all butter for this first saute step and half butter, half olive oil for the next one.) Add onions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook another minute, stirring. The potatoes will probably disintegrate, which is A-OK. Add greens, a handful at a time, and cook and stir after each addition until wilted. Remove from heat.
Puree mixture, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
In same soup pot, heat remaining 4 Tbsp of butter/olive oil/whathaveyou. Add flour, curry powder, chile flakes and a couple generous pinches of salt . Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until flour begins to smell toasty, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth; cook and stir for about a minute. Whisk in spinach mixture and lemon juice. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly; back off heat.
In a medium bowl, stir sour cream or yogurt until smooth. Add a cup of the hot soup to sour cream and whisk until very smooth. Gradually whisk sour cream mixture into soup in pot. Heat through, but do not boil. Taste and correct salt and pepper.
Serve with croutons, toasted baguette slices or crackers. If you're inclined, a chiffonade of additional spinach leaves would make a festive garnish; but if you're disinclined, as I was last night, just eat the soup as it comes forth from the pot, without benefit of additional gewgaw.