Saturday, December 18, 2010

mister's miso noodle soup

Anyone here on facebook?  As 2010 approaches its end, I've noticed a lot of my friends doing what's called a "status cloud," in which the most frequently used words in a status are compiled and sorted.  For example, one of my friend's most frequently used word was "bus" and another friend's cloud revealed she spends the overwhelming majority of her status updates to inform the world about her elder son's exploits...her daughter trails by nearly 66%.

The point of all this is that every now and then, I start to post something and have an odd sensation of deja vu.  I have not actually done a data-based query, but from patterns I notice, if I had to guess my top three most focused topics they would be:

1. kale and my kale-heavy recipe list
2. how exhausting my job is, especially this time of year (you may have noticed that I let two nights go by without posts for the first time in months)
and finally...
3. mister being sick

My poor mister has such a challenged immune system.  I'm fairly convinced that the way he eats when I'm not around to give him a hard time might be preventing him from at least somewhat improving that, but he just naturally gets sick easily.

Can you guess the topic of this post?

Mister is sick.  I don't know what's wrong with him, but I am amazed at how dramatic his illnesses can be.  He can't just have a cough - no, he has to cough until he's in pain and then make miserable noises while shaking uncontrollably because he's freezing, even though we turned up the heat.  He's been getting progressively more ill over the last couple of days, but when I came home tonight and found our living room dark and empty, my first thought was still that he had gone out somewhere.  It took me about 15 minutes to realize he had gone to the bedroom and was so utterly unconscious that I had to hold my breath to hear if he was still breathing.

He was, so I returned to the kitchen to figure out what I was going to eat with the bottle of 2009 deBoeuf Beaujolais-Villages I picked up on my way home from work tonight.  I had far less than no desire to make one of the two leftover recipes on my menu if I was the only one eating, so I evaluated my ingredients and nearly made something fun with angel hair pasta, leftover fire-roasted tomatoes, and Swiss chard (and of course, oodles of garlic), but then I realized that despite my enjoyment of the cooking process, I wanted nothing to do with the clean-up.  That ended up backfiring (<-- foreshadowing), but I decided to head over to Essene to check out the hot foods bar.  I was a little torn between the quirky, healthy food at Essene and the sheer comfort I would get from a slice or two of Blackbird pizza, so I figured if there wasn't anything truly exciting at Essene, I would just go to Blackbird.  This is one of the many, many things I love about living where I live - they are each a block and a half from my home.

Turns out, Essene had plenty to fill my to-go box: amazing mashed potatoes, roasted yams, broccoli raab with garlic, harvard beets, tuscan white beans (with tomatoes and basil), and tofu cutlets.  I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was still in a pretty special state of mind, recovering from today and this week in general.  I'll fill you in more tomorrow, but for now, let's return to the theme of MISTER IS SICK.

I was about two bites into my luscious mashed potatoes when I heard Mister hacking up a lung in the bedroom.  I went in, since I figured he was awake, to see if I could get him anything.  Apparently, he wasn't awake, but every time I spoke to him, he had a coughing/shaking/moaning fit, so I figured it was probably best to leave and finish the Beaujolais my dinner.  About 30 minutes after dinner, while I was sifting through Twitter timelines and FB updates, Mister emerged from the bedroom looking like a cross between a bum and a caveman (not flattering, I know).  When he sat down at the table, I asked if I could get him anything.  To my surprise, he requested soup.  That surprises me everytime.

I put down the wine and got to work while Mister took a short nap on the table.

Miso Noodle Soup
2 servings

2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp minced ginger
2 small carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp thyme
1 oz angel hair/cappellini, broken into 2" pieces
1 tsp white miso, dissolved in 2 Tbsp warm water

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.  Add pressed garlic and lower heat; allow to saute for about 5 minutes but be careful not to burn or brown the garlic.  Add carrots and ginger, stir to mix and allow to saute for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in stock and tamari and bring to boiling, then add broccoli and peas.   Return to boiling, stir in the broken pasta, then reduce to a lively simmer for about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in thyme and miso and remove from heat.  Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

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