In case you hadn't heard, Gwyneth and her rocker hub Chris Martin are no longer an item.
I know, I know.
Take a moment to digest it all - it took me a couple of days.
Now that we are recovered from that, here is another item to ponder.
The Dude and I were at a diner the other night. I stepped into the washroom to wash my hands - there had been recent cat petting. Cat petting and food eating do not go together in my world...
Anyway, hands were cleaned. Dinner arrived. As I was starting to dive in to my hot turkey sandwich and french fries (with gravy on the fries, of course - one thing I am, is predictable in my diner food ordering practices), I kept smelling coconut. Coconut smells and hot turkey sandwiches just don't jive with each other. I finally figured out that the bathroom soap was the source of the coconut intrusion.
This caused me to wonder... do restaurants consider soap/ food odor interactions when choosing bathroom supplies? Did someone think they were doing a good thing by picking a nice smelling soap, not realizing that it was a total contradiction to the diner experience? This has been bothering me for a few days. I am sure there are more meaningful food topics to worry about - like the presence of GMO's in our food sources, the ethical treatment of animals, or even guerrilla farming practices. Somehow, my mind can't focus on those things - I am still focused on that darn coconut soap.
In light of all these "things" that were clouding up my universe, I am not sure how I was even able to being myself make this week's FFwD soup recipe - oh wait, I didn't... Well, I did, but not really.
My sense of direction following was even more skewed than normal. I was also shy a few vegetables - having roasted most of the contents of the bin for Saturday night's dinner.
First of all, I was cooking for one, so I scaled the recipe back considerably. I did include vegetable (noodles). And there was barley. The taste of India was limited to freshly grated turmeric and ginger. From start to finish, the whole thing took me about a half hour - which earns gold star points in my book.
Vegetable Barley Soup with Vegetable Noodles (Taste of India, Optional)
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table
One medium shallot, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp grated fresh turmeric
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 cups chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/3 cup pearled barley
1/3 celery root, spiralized and cut into 8" - 12" lengths (~3/4 - 1 cup)
1/2 small zucchini, sprialized and cut into 8" - 12" lengths (~1/2 - 3/4 cup)
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped shallots and saute until tender (~3-5 minutes). Add garlic, thyme, turmeric and ginger and saute another minute or two, until they start to become aromatic. Add chicken stock and lime leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Add pearled barley and simmer until barley is tender, but still has a little bit of bite left to it. (15-20 minutes, or longer depending on your brand). Add the celery root noodles and simmer another 5 minutes, or until the celery root is just tender. Stir in the zucchini noodles.
Ladle into bowls and serve.
Makes two portions.
On another note, I finally finished reading The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). I really enjoyed this one. Next up is The Secret History (Donna Tartt) - I enjoyed The Goldfinch, so I have high hopes for her earlier work.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The original recipe for Vegetable Barley Soup with a Little Taste of India can be found here - along with an article that fabulously spotlights several Doristas. (P.S. I was very glad to hear that Dorie duly noted our universal aversion to raisins and reacted accordingly. This. Is just one of the many reasons why we love her.)