So this is my take on Yotam Ottolenghi’s legume (noodle) soup.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t mess with the original recipe, YO being a bit of an institution etc, but, I mean, first he wanted me to use some obscure noodles, then the legume situation got tricky… In fact, let’s just go straight to the total damage:
I left out the parsley because I’m one of those, I used tinned legumes because I’m impatient, I subbed red split lentils for yellow split peas and flageolet beans for lima beans because I was improvising with what was available in the shop… Oh, and I reduced the recipe by half because the idea of eating this dish every day well into 2016 didn’t appeal (besides, I have a pizza consumption quota to maintain).
I think that’s all I did to mess with this soup – or should I say This Soup – and it worked out beautifully (and deliciously).
Can you believe all the green you just scrolled past? On my blog? Yes, this is the same place that extols the virtues of things made with equal parts butter and sugar – the place that recently hooked you up with a personal portion of freshly-baked cookies and in the last paragraph mentioned having a pizza quota.
You could say I’m in a mood. A soup-related mood. The hours of daylight are getting shorter, the knitwear is getting cosier and the cat in one’s life is getting much fleuffier. These are the signs of soup season, and they require warmth, stodge and a splash of colour.
Obviously when I said ‘colour’, I wasn’t talking about the onions, garlic, butter or legumes. That said, nothing makes a bowl of chickpeas look more garish than putting a pile of chopped white things next to it.
The red split lentils are also not the colour I was on about; they tend to lose their gorgeous hue in the cooking process. The stuff in that teaspoon though? That stuff means business. That stuff is dried turmeric.
Pro tip if you’re totally into ruining your favourite wooden spoon by making soup: turmeric.
As you can see, it’s a mighty little spice, and it really brings the life to this otherwise slightly aesthetically anaemic party. It goes in with the fried onions and turns up the Technicolor. A litre of stock does little to dilute its glow – nor, later, does an almighty dollop of soured cream.
All the ecru business out of the way, bring on the greens. (Bonus points if you manage to give yourself a quick facial in the steam from the bubbling pot.)
Nearly there: add a fistful of pasta (or obscure fancy noodles or what ever) and stir, stir, stir…
Speaking of stirring, you’ll never guess what Imma tell you to do with that blob of cream. (Eat the rest directly out of the pot using your finger. Yes.) And as soon as that’s mixed in, you are ready to rock and/or serve your beautiful soup.
This I will gladly interrupt my Italian takeaway schedule for. And the rest of the pot can be heated up over the course of the (cold, rainy, super crazy busy) week. Ottolenghi says in his recipe that the noodles are parenthesised in the title because the legumes and cream make this quite hearty enough without them. I would marry noodles if that were a thing, so there was never a question of me adding them – the chef is right though, and this soup would still be a totally satisfying meal without.
But, I mean… noodles.
So! Have a bash at this while there’s still some daylight left. I’m off to see if there are any other culinary greats from whose recipes I can remove the parsley contingent. BRB.