Final Exam Question:
The temperature is close to freezing, and it’s raining gloomily and pitch dark at 6:46 p.m. when you walk in the door, already a bit later than usual. Your spouse is scheduled to arrive home from work in less than 15 minutes. A glance in the refrigerator reveals little more than one sad, shivering, wilted head of broccoli hiding in the crisper drawer. You check the pantry and find several rather old-looking onions and a few ancient specimens of ordinary-looking white kitchen potatoes as well as some lonely remaining lentils in an unmarked bag. The only bread in the house is rock-hard and at least a week old, but you detect no signs of bacterial or fungal growth.
How does the ideal bunny wife react in this pressing, not unrealistic scenario?
Broccoli-lentil-lemon soup with hearty sprouted wheat croutons
Rationale: Clearly, given the weather, a hearty soup is called for. The wilted state of the broccoli will not prevent the astute spouse from recognizing its possibilities as a vehicle for flavor and its abilities to carry a soup to glory. In onions, potatoes and lentils you instinctively recognize the foundational ingredients of a satisfying and hearty soup, and your thrifty instincts inspire you to roast the week-old bread into garlicky croutons (truly the touch of a master). A bit of fresh parsley and generous squeeze of lemon juice add the flavor pop to make the whole bowl sing.
Your spouse comes home and falls into your arms practically weeping with gratitude. As you watch him inhaling the fragrantly scented soup, you smile with wifely satisfaction: you know you’re just that much closer to getting a €600 Vitamix blender for Christmas.
Recipe (for the purposes of exam documentation only – the expert spouse needs no recipes):
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 small potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 head of broccoli (wilted is okay), chopped in small pieces
1 cup red lentils
Veggie soup stock or bullion powder
A splash of soy milk for creaminess
An end piece / very old chunk of a hearty loaf of whole wheat bread
Another clove of garlic (for the croutons)
Parsley & lemon juice
1. Saute the onions. After a few minutes add the garlic, potatoes & broccoli and saute another few minutes. Add the lentils.
2. Add the stock or the bullion and hot water until the broccoli is covered. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
3. While the soup is simmering, cut the bread into thick chunks. Toast the bread in a skillet with olive oil and one crushed garlic clove. Season the croutons with salt & pepper and a few flakes of chili pepper.
4. Add the soy milk to the soup & puree with an immersion blender.
5. Season with salt, pepper and a generous amount of lemon. Top with parsley and croutons and serve.
6. Revel in being an amazing spouse!