Salads and Soup and Sweets party (SASAS?), featuring many veggie soup, couscous curry salad, tepary bean hummus, and flourless chocolate torte

This month's SAS was a nice spread, but as is the case when I combine cooking and blogging, cooking dominated, and I didn't photograph much.

Many Veggie Soup, impromptu style

Start by softening onions or leeks in hot oil, then adding some garlic. Next, add the carrots and celery, and let them release some of their liquid into the pan. Add as much water or stock as you need, along with some celery leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, sage, basil, and a bay leaf or two. Bring to a gentle boil and start adding your veggies, starting with the “hard stuff”—cubed root veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and parsnips. Cook that for 20-30 minutes until tender, and then add the medium-hard stuff—green beans, broccoli, lima beans, summer squash. Cook for 5-10 minutes until they have just a bit of bite left, and then take off the heat to add the soft stuff—leafy greens.

If you’re going to fridge the soup and reheat it the next day to serve, as I did, to let the flavors come together, then reserve the soft stuff and some of the medium-hard stuff until the reheating to freshen the soup.

To quick-cold the soup for the fridge if you're antsy about letting it sit out in the danger zone for too long: Once the pot has cooled to the point where you can touch it without melting to the metal, rest it in your sink or a cooler full of ice and sink some water bottles full of ice into the pot--super cool! Then, fridge it!

Veggies for soup
soup start

Some butter and oil
soup start, spoon clip

Delicious many veggie soup
veggie stew

Couscous curry salad
Curry couscous salad

Mike's wife's tepary bean hummus was delicious! It did taste a little little bit more like a white bean than a garbanzo bean, but I could barely taste the difference, and really couldn't it all when it was on something. I served it with pita chips, green beans, and celery.
tepary bean hummus

I'm out of piping practice, and the fact that I was using a plastic baggie and had cut too big a piece off the corner didn't help. As for the flavor, the taste was okay--rich and chocolaty, but I didn't like the texture--too dry! I think I should've pulled it from the oven a bit earlier, treating it more like a pan of brownies than a cake.
flourless chocolate torte


Kribha said…
Hi Julie,
It's been a while since I visited you. My My....I've missed so many of your posts. Just went through all of them. Loved your array of cookies and pies. Especially the 'yule' caught my eye so much. You sure are a daring baker and you have done a fantastic job on it. The mushrooms were awesome. If possible I would liked to have the recipe for that. It's not at all urgent. Do it ONLY if you have time.
Also, I wanted to say you. I started on the south beach diet from Jan 1st. Finished the first phase and lost 8 pounds exactly. But to be truthful, I did cheat 3 times. I couldn't resist the chocolate bar. When I give it to my kid sometimes I get out of control.
Anyway, Thanks for all the inspiration. I saw you picture on the side. You look great. Keep up the good work.
Marvin said…
That veggie soup looks delicious. And I've been wanting one of those spoon rests for so long!
Julie said…
Kribha, Congratulations! Don't forget--they key is to stick with it and adopt what you learn as a way of life. When I shop for groceries or go out to eat, I try to keep "healthy choices" at the forefront of my mind--it's like my mantra. Yeah, I splurge once in awhile, but the next meal or snack, it's back to healthy choices. =D Thanks for continuing to visit--the holidays have been rough on my schedule, and I'm still trying to recover. Unfortunatley, my usual blog reading has suffered a lot, so I haven't been around to many, either. Hope I can amend that soon!

Marvin! Get the spoon rest! It multitasks as a chip clip (or pandesal bag clip)! ;D

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