11 November 2010

day-before prep + a taste test: soup

So, tomorrow my friend Abby is coming over for dinner, wine, and stories, and since I have planned a three course meal {four, with dessert}, I decided to make the first course, minestrone soup, tonight.  Plus, soup always tastes better the next day, like pasta and popcorn.  I love stale popcorn--I get it from my mom. 

I got the delicious minestrone recipe from VeganYumYum, the site I am currently stalking for recipes and inspiration, and I have to say it is equally sweet and savory, and seriously flavorful.  I used fire-roasted tomatoes and half veg broth/half water, which added a ton of flavor.

The little ladleful in my teacup is vivid with iridescent red broth, bright green peas, and fresh lemon zest.  As I am typing this, I am gobbling it down and just went back for seconds.  The base has thickened a bit which means by tomorrow night the soup will be a hearty consistency--perfect for this cold weather.  And anything I get to put kale in makes me a happy camper.

Also on the menu for tomorrow night's dinner:  asparagus and white bean pesto tart, also from VeganYumYum {I told you, stalker}, and chickpea picatta over mashed potatoes, which I found over at the Post Punk Kitchen.  For dessert, I am making banana 'ice cream,' which is literally just frozen banana, blended in a food processor.  Really, just banana.  I swear the consistency is exactly like ice cream and is really yummy.  Have you had this?  I found it a long time ago on the kitchn.  The first time I made it, which was that very day it was posted, it came out creamy and delicious, but was quite messy, which I guess is half the fun.  I made a lot, so I stored the leftovers in the freezer and it kept a few days.  Nice.
I scored a bottle of Burgans Albarino on clearance at Cost Plus last night while shopping with friend Vicki, for only $7.88!  It's normally like fifteen bucks at Nugget Market, and since one of the recipes calls for white wine, I figure I'll use it and serve the rest at dinner.  Abby said she found Cakebread Chardonnay on sale at Nugget, so we'll definitely be covered in the vino department.

I love vegan food.  Love it.  Abby's vegetarian, so I won't need to defend any part of the meal.  Easy. 

What are your plans for Friday night?  Fancy food?  Friends?  Vino?  I sure hope so, because the holidays are in full swing, and everyone should be in a festive mood.  :)

Have a festive weekend!

{photo source: 1}

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