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Bloody Mary Soup January 27, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, random stuff, soupe du semaine.
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I know,  crazy, right?   But hey, it worked, that’s all I know.  Well, it’s not technically all I know, but you know what I mean.  😉

Anyway.  The soup.  Here’s what happened.  A while back, we made an old favorite – bloody mary beef roast, which is, essentially, a pot roast braised in bloody mary-esque flavors, and, honestly, it’s quite lovely, and I’ll probably eventually blog about it here.  So, Peeps made this roast a while ago, and I thought it might be nice to mimic the flavors in a soup.  😀

PhotobucketSo the first thing we did was to brown some ground meat.  Normally, I’d use ground beef, but I wanted to try to keep it as light as possible (that whole weight thing is such a drag sometimes!), so we went with ground turkey.  A 20-oz package.

I read somewhere (sorry, I don’t remember where) that if, when sautéing ground turkey, you form it into little balls as you fry it, it looks more like ground beef.

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Now, I’m normally against one (non) food pretending to be a real food (yes, I’m talking to you NOTDOGS and TOFURKEY), but let’s face it – ground turkey kind of looks like worms.  And who needs that?

So we  browned the ground turkey (or beef, if you’d prefer) with a bit of salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, Peeps is hard at work making sure the vegetation is properly diced.  While we’re thinking “bloody mary,” we’re also thinking “soup.”

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Pay no attention to the potato in the above photo.  It was left over from something else.  😳

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So we have a nice pile of Peeps’s Feel Good About Yourself Mirepoix™ for our soup – carrots and all, because you really can’t have soup without carrots, can you?

We decided to dice 1 onion, 1 carrot and 2 ribs of celery – you could probably cut the celery into bigger pieces if you wanted, but, to be honest, I didn’t have a real preference, and Peeps just doesn’t care for big chunks of celery.  So there you have it.  Teamwork.  Oh, and we did decide to throw in a couple of cloves of finely diced garlic, besides, because, well, it’s soup.  It needs a bit of garlic.  🙄

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Once the meat starts to brown a bit, I tossed in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and let the veggies start to soften.  Then in goes a quart of our home-canned whole tomatoes – squished to, well, so they’re not quite so whole.

If you don’t have a quart of home-canned tomatoes, I’d use a big can – 28 oz.? – of either whole or diced tomatoes.  You could probably even use crushed if you wanted, but that probably wouldn’t be the way I’d go.

PhotobucketIn addition to the tomatoes, we also added half a pint of our own vegetable juice (we call it, affectionately, V-14, because 14 is where we stopped counting the veggies that were in it) – V-8, or even tomato juice, would be just fine.  Whatever juice you use, though, just keep that in mind when it comes time for your “final seasoning.”  We also dumped in a pint of chicken stock and a quart of beef stock.  Altogether, 3 pints (or small cans) of stock (or broth).

As an aside, isn’t soup just cool?  You can pretty much just toss it together  – wing it – on a Sunday afternoon, then one night (or a couple of nights) during the week – instant dinner!

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In addition to the obvious bloody mary seasonings – a tablespoon or so each of Tabasco and Worcestershire (maybe a bit more – “season to taste”), you’re also going to want to add a tablespoon (or so) of horseradish, dijon mustard, and a splash of white wine vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste, being especially generous with the black pepper. Of course.  🙂

Once everything was seasoned nicely, we stuck it in the fridge until we were ready to finish it up for dinner.  You could certainly finish it right away, if you were so inclined, of course, but I almost always prefer soup after it’s had a chance to, um, mellow.

So we bring the soup up to a low simmer – not quite a boil, but, you know, almost.

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We opted to add some raviolini – we wanted a filling, one-dish meal, and what is more filling than soup with wee baby raviolis?  😉

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Here’s what I’ve learned about any pasta in soup, though.  They’re deceiving.  They look tiny; indeed, they are tiny.  But a little bit goes a long way.  My inclination is always to add more. After all, that’s an awful lot of liquid, isn’t it?

Don’t do it.

At least don’t do it unless what you want is just a bowl of pasta – not soup.  For what was, ultimately, about 8+ servings of soup, I used just 1 (heaping) cup of pasta, and it was perfect.

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Bring the whole mess back up to a boil, and simmer gently.

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Until the pasta is done.  Of course, the only way you’ll be able to tell if the raviolinis are done is to taste them.  Aww, darn.  Of course, you could have saved the cooking directions on the bag to refer to, but who needs that extra hassle?  (OK, I’ll admit it.  I do.  I saved the cooking directions, but I just couldn’t be bothered actually reading them.  Sorry.)

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Do they actually call it “plating” when it’s in a bowl?

Either way, served with some fresh Italian bread and a tall glass of milk, this was a delightfully filling, yet not heavy, winter soup, full of bold flavors and pasta.  I love pasta.  And the horseradish-worcestershire-celery combination was comfortable, yet oddly different.

And I can’t wait to enjoy leftovers for lunch, besides.

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