Speaking of which... (French Fridays with Dorie: Spur of the Moment Vegetable Soup)

I am feeling the need to unload.

Please bear with...

First of all, never (ever) let your 17 year-old daughter with a very impish sense of humor get her hands on your cell phone.

If you do, it is very plausible that your ring tone will end up sounding something like this: "Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble" - and of course, said phone will decide to ring loudly in your office while you are at a meeting on the day that you forgot set it to vibrate.

Yes, this could happen to you if you are not careful.

Speaking of work, it's review writing time.

I normally don't mind writing reviews. I work with a good team.

The appraisal forms were totally changed up this year. My review-writing mojo has been messed up. I really need to find it soon. They are due next week.

Speaking of reviews - one of my co-workers said that there was an NPR story that women tend to give lower raises and less positive reviews to attractive employees at certain times of the month (maybe the employees are all hiding in a binder?).

I really want to find that story. Google has not been helping me out that way.

Maybe they are just messing with my head.

Speaking of messed up...

Tonight - as in Thursday night - I came home from work and realized that I have totally NOT made this week's FFwD assignment. And that The Runner Girl needed me to edit one of her papers that is due tomorrow. And that it was 6:30.

No pressure.

But we did need to eat - so two birds with one stone and all that...

Here is where it gets real, people.

My refrigerator was bursting (literally) at the seams with CSA veggies. Yesterday morning, my refrigerator threw my coffee creamer at me in protest. I think a head of savoy cabbage was the guilty party.

True story.

I scanned the recipe, promptly closed the book, started pulling random vegetables out of the fridge and silently begged Dorie's forgiveness.

It kind of went like this: I chopped. It went into the pot. I chopped. It went into the pot. Lather and rinse... Cover with broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook until tender. Blend.

First up - the onion. The onion was quickly joined by celery, cabbage and a couple of jalapenos (all from my CSA). Shredded carrots (yes, I cheated and bought them that way), chopped turnips (CSA) and a couple of potatoes soon followed. I also tossed in a hand full of parsley (CSA) and topped with some chicken broth and a spoonful of "Better than Bouillon" followed by a healthy slug of water.

When it was done, I had The Dude give it a whirl with the immersion blender and ladle some of it into ramekins (topped with croutons, bacon and Gruyere) and ran it under the broiler.

The soup was stinking ugly, but it tasted good (hello bacon).

It was joined by sauteed leeks and cabbage - several eggs were cooked on top of the cabbage mixture and it was finished off with a sprinkle with bacon.

My refrigerator is looking somewhat emptier tonight. Perhaps tomorrow, I will be safe from the attacking creamer.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie - hop on over to the FFwD site to see more composed versions of this week's recipe. If you are interested in what this soup was supposed to be, you can find the recipe here.


  1. Ah! That sounds like an awful ringtone story! Well at least the soup looks good :)

  2. Your unload is pretty funny. I wasn´t even able to make this soup yesterday. Your additions to the soup are a meal in itself! I just love an egg on a vegetable soup. Have a great day Cher!

  3. Pretty or not, hats off to you for getting this made! You rock!

  4. Now I feel like a real underachiever for not knocking out some fridge type soup....esp when Nana even hooked me up with carrots. But this was a week for the record books. Though I didn't have the gobble ringtone story. Just travel agents booking Italy in different time zones and not returning calls :)I wish someone's phone would make that noise in one of my meetings - would love it. And yes, reviews are the worst.I almost have nightmares that I forget to do someone's as my team's are on staggering months. Thinking of you and thought of you and "Runner Girl" when I came across Gesine's blog- she is big runner and does a separate blog where she converts recipes to good versions for runners.....be well.

  5. LOL - I thought it was ugly too - so ugly that I wasn't going to try it, but I am glad I did. It tasted just fine, but not exciting.

  6. You are the second person I read who got to use their CSA on this soup. Great timing on the group ordering the recipes. You are so funny about how the soup looks... taste is what really matters.

  7. Not only do I think that Dorie will forgive you, I think that your situation is exactly what she had in mind with this soup. Whatever you have hanging out in the fridge is absolutely what should be used.

    And I'm highly entertained by the ring tone story. I would possibly be less entertained if it had happened to me though:-)

  8. Cher, Yes. It's true. That whole "women" thing. Been there. (The reviews writing, not the other. Or maybe I have and I blanked it out). Love the fridge soup! You are such a trooper with your FFwD!

  9. The aesthetics of soup is quite the challenge (as someone who pumped out who-knows-how-many posts last winter about soup - odds are, a vegetable-centric creation is going to turn out some shade of olive green/mustard yellow/tan-ish red. Not the most photogenic, especially with winter light. But they always taste great - I do adore veggie soups.

    I am (quite happily) no longer a staff manager, because, those years were some of the worst, professionally, of my life. Not the teams, but the corporate politics. Like the HR dept who was constantly on me because one of my team members had a green streak in his hair (not against corp. policy NOR did he meet with clients or vendors AND he was a part-time DJ - the green streak made sense). Or they were on me about the girl with the tongue ring (ditto with the DJ regarding her role). (We were a tech team - we sit in cubes and code all day. Who cares about tongue rings?) Or when HR and I stood toe-to-toe about hiring a college grad who was working at Target. I saw incredible potential with this kid, but they thought if he was so great, he wouldn't be working at Target. Or the time HR tried to prevent one guy from leaving by calling his new employer and revealing that the kid was recovering from cancer (happily, the scheme didn't work). I didn't want him to leave either, but I thought that perhaps countering with a salary- or PTO-bump was the better route than ratting out a serious health issue (illegally so, I think. If not illegal, then it was definitely an ethical fail). Or another company who absolutely would not approve reviews unless they contained at least one really harsh criticism, even when the employee was a star. Or the VP who insisted on divvying up the performance raises without input, even though he couldn't name a single person on my team by sight. I'm glad you like your job and your company because I gotta say, it can be ugly out there...

  10. I think your soup still looks delicious blended. Sorry about the cell phone frustration.

  11. Your unload made my day:) Thanks for sharing. Your soup looks delicious and lovely. Blended is the way to go.

  12. Ha! Mine wasn't too pretty either -- photo op at beginning of process, that's for sure. Blended. Check!

  13. Cher, I love the fact that you used so many wonderful vegetables for this soup and got to "tidy up" the fridgs somewhat in the process - your version of this Vegetable Soup sounds delicious and although I opted not to purée mine, I am sure that both versions are just wonderful!

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Cher, your veggie soup would be a very welcome sight at the end of a work day, thank goodness your fridge was full or even over full of veggies- sometimes those heads of cabbage get a little territorial, I wouldn't worry about it!

  15. It sounds like the shenanigans that happen at my house...LOL. Last time it was big brother changing little brother's ring tone to Justin Bieber. Love how you got this soup together just in the nick of time...perfect recipe for you! Have a great weekend, Cher!

  16. I love how this works with any vegetable(s). The toppings on your soup leave me jealous. Sounds like your version should be renamed French Stone Soup (like French Onion...). I hope you get all those reviews done. The company where I was (until recently) working made software for that...

  17. Too funny about the ring tone. :) I love empty-the-refrigerator night and you made such great use out of all your CSA veggies. Sometimes those meals turn out to be the most satisfying.

  18. I like any recipe that empties out the fridge leftovers! Makes me feel accomplished somehow.
    My son did the same to me with the ph ring tone but mine toots like steam train and the first time I kept looking around trying to figure out what that noise was and where it was coming from! They sure make life interesting!

  19. I pulled together a one-pot chicken dinner on Wednesday not unlike your soup. Sometimes the meals we cook even though we are on auto-pilot can surprise us. I thought about making the soup, but I have the habit on checking on my Dude in the early afternoon to touch base about what he had for lunch. That day, (le sigh), he had a soup and sandwich, so I knew that veggie soup wouldn't cut it.

    I also feel for your performance review changes. Our company switched two years ago to making those on a quarterly instead of annual basis. They won't allow us to get rusty on our assessment skills that way.

  20. Cher, I can totally relate to your work blues. I have not yet jumped back into the fray; holding off as long as I can and want to find something I really want and will enjoy doing!!! Yeah, sometimes the veggie colors clash with each other, but your leek, bacon and egg topping to finish it off looks great and made a great meal in a bowl!

  21. I am more interested in the "Gobble, Gobble, Gobble" side of your office life. Let's discuss that. Love that your daughter has a great sense of humor and is willing to put her "life" at risk by dissing Mom! Shows character, fortitude, guts, you name it. I've always thought women were hard on women in the workplace. I am a raving lunatic of a feminist but it has primariluy been men not women who have give me the opportunities, jobs, and have been willing to take a risk on me. I have always tried to do the opposite and go with the woman over a man of the same qualifications. Yep, that probably isn't fair either. Loved your Soup. (Cher - please go back and try to make a comment on my site. If you cannot again, I will have my tech guy work on it. I've had to come up with all sorts of passwords to make Wordpress happy lately.)

  22. it sounds like you get a really great CSA too!! ours is overrun with greens lately and we are sracing the veg to find things to do with it all!

  23. I don't think you need Dorie's forgiveness - cleaning out the fridge is what this recipe is all about! Sounds delicious topped with the croutons, bacon, and Gruyere!


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