Work life balance no more. I had been the only designer at a small internet startup for years… until the Big Bang explosion of success had happened and the company began expanding like a mushroom cloud. In what feels like a blink, my design department grew to 5-people, with 3 more open recs, and I had metamorphosed from a laid-back designer into a busy butterfly… I mean a creative director.
As a result, all those carefree evenings that had been dedicated exclusively to cooking and Cucing are now partially devoted to work.
Last Saturday, while my children focused their attention on the new set of Pokemon cards, I got awarded with a few free hours of “me” time. So, I decided to spend it in my abandoned sanctuary – the Kitchen.
I flipped through my shiny new cookbook and landed on a recipe that was bookmarked with a torn piece of sunday paper. A quick little soup: small number of steps, little prep work, short cooking time – all seemed very attractive and, more importantly, doable in the limited amount of time that I had.
I jotted down the required ingredients missing from my pantry, flew to WholeFoods and back, and quickly crafted the soup.
This little dish surely packed in a whole lota flavor. Slightly tangy, a little sweet, very fresh, light and summery, it was gone in a blink of an eye, praised with the thumbs up from all of my gazillion kids (OK, just two, but handful like a gazillion) and one very unaware husband.
The following day I woke up super early and repeated the soup, making minor modifications and doubling the recipe. I cucee-graphed it and went back to the book to copy the recipe for the blog. As my eye accidentally landed on the opposite side of the book fold, I froze and then burst out laughing, waking up the rest of the household.
You see, I made the WRONG SOUP! How did that happen? – you ask. I’ll tell you. Thrilled to be awarded with two hours of creative cooking time, I got so excited that I accidentally followed a recipe on the wrong side of the bookmark. I never really bookmarked the Red Pepper Soup for it isn’t really a type of soup that normally catches my attention; my intention was to cook the Lentil soup from the adjacent page.
Well, this accidental find became one fortunate mistake. So, I am now seriously considering introducing more randomness in deciding our family meals from this point forward.
So, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the never-planned-to-be-made, work-is-taking-over-my-life, Red Pepper Soup.
Red Pepper Soup
Ever so slightly adapted from from the Soup & Bread Cookbook
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 6 red bell peppers, chopped
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 whole red onions, chopped
- 2/3 bunch asparagus, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp coriander
- 7 – 8 basil leaves, torn into little pieces
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil to point of fragrance.
- Saute garlic, 4 diced red peppers, celery and onion in the oil.
- Add coriander and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to blender together with the vegetable broth and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to pot, add coconut milk and lemon juice.
- Add bell pepper to pot and cook on low-medium for 20 minutes.
- Add the asparagus.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender yet still crunchy.
This vegetable focused dish is great with Paul Dolan Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc lightly herbal citrusy nature.