Greetings from Houston! Things are very quickly coming along here in our new home. My dad is here turning our totally awesome house into a TOTALLY AWESOME house with all of his remodeling and painting expertise along side a seemingly endless amount of grueling work. I am so grateful for him. The yellow you see in the above photo is my favorite piece of furniture right now. I should have taken some before and after pictures for super dramatic effect, but in its other life it was a dark burgundy. Now it’s a bumble bee cabinet since I spray painted the hardware black. More home updates will be coming soon if anyone is interested in reading about my psychedelic epiphanies while under the influence of epoxy. Am I am turning into a blogger mommy? I promise not to post videos of my shopping trips to Ikea. Actually, I pledge not to even make videos of my shopping trips to Ikea.
Speaking of trips I have made so many sojourns to Home Depot this past week that I feel like Harold Ramis. I also am debating buying stock in Rust-Oleum. All this pimping out of the casa is swell but what I really want is to sit down and read for one month straight. I started Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin on the drive to Texas and it was extraordinary from page one. Word association compels me to inform you that Page One is the name of an amazing documentary you should watch. Here’s the trailer: http://youtu.be/rwTMFXgf95c
Samir and I both love traditional watercress soups but the only ones I’ve ever made call for heavy cream. Tonight we wanted something lighter but with a similarly smooth texture as dairy based recipes. If you’re never had watercress, be forewarned that it’s slightly tart. If you eat it alone you might find it bitter, but when combined with other veggies the flavor is recognizable without being overwhelming. It’s also extremely detoxifying. I decided to keep track of everything while I was cooking in case it turned out yummy enough for future replication. I am happy to report my culinary concoction was definitely nom worthy.
Completely Nomable Watercress Soup, serves 6-8 depending on bowl size
1 bunch water cress, destemmed
2 c. Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 c. cauliflower flourets
1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
salt to taste
pepper to taste
fat free sour cream
8 cups of water
Sautee onion in EVOO over medium heat in a large soup pot. When the onions turn translucent (about 10 minutes) add in the garlic, potatoes and cauliflower. Continue to sautee for another 5 minutes or so, then add in water, salt (I used about 1.5 tsp), and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are tender. While this is boiling, de stem your watercress (it is quite tedious) and set aside. Puree what’s in the soup pot with the watercress. You will need to do this in batches using a blender. I have a vitamix that works perfectly, but any blender with a high speed setting should do. Transfer soup back into pot and allow to cool. If there is any foam from blending, scoop off and discard. Garnish with 1 or 2 dollops of fat free sour cream, freshly cracked black pepper, and slivers of basil. If you’re not digging the basil, any fresh herb or just some extra watercress leaves would work nicely.
I made a simple salad and some garlic bread to go with the soup. For the salad, combine baby spinach, feta cheese and walnuts with either EVOO or a light balsamic vinaigrette. I also used the vinaigrette to saute a sliced up Bartlett pear over low to medium heat for about 8 minutes until it browned and caramelize a bit.
My guess is this would be really refreshing if served with white wine but since my knowledge of wine pairing is primitive and there was already some red open, we had a Cabernet. Where there is vino there is generally happiness. I think the best match would be a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay. I guess my wine knowledge isn’t completely pedestrian after all.
It was a mellow night here so I put on some old school Cat Stevens, you know, when Cat Stevens was still Cat Stevens. I may not instill you with confidence regarding my wine selections, but rest assured, Cat Stevens and watercress are fully compatible dinner pairings.
Good night and good eats!