2014/11/07

But I won't do that... (French Fridays with Dorie: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsley Coulis)

I have a confession to make.

Real talk.

Seriously.


I am a weekend cook/ baker/ kitchenista.

As much as I love to cook and bake all weekend long, I feel the exact opposite on weeknights.

Saturday and Sunday, the spatula sings. Come Monday, I take one look at that crock full of spatulas and I want to chuck them across the kitchen (the only significant barrier to this is the fact that I would be the one responsible for cleaning up the mess I just made).

After a 9-10 hour day at the office, followed by a forty-something minute commute home the thought of standing in front of the stove and making, well, anything...gets me all stressed-out. The "what's for dinner" dilemma makes my head hurt.

Yes, I know there are a million and one techniques and strategies to prep ahead of time and blah, blah, blah. I am just not there yet.


There is no Monday through Friday family table (on weekdays, it's the "Family Island").

Elaborate preparations are no where to be seen - only the quickest, easiest meals survive in that environment (and since we are still being real - pizza, is always an option).

Never underestimate the value of a box of cereal.

One of the things that I have come to appreciate about Around My French Table, are its simple, but flavorful vegetable soup options. Dorie offers a variety of smooth vegetable soups that can be easily streamlined to be week night friendly.


Jerusalem artichoke soup is a simple preparation of onions, celery, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes (with a little garlic and chicken stock for good measure). The vegetables are sauteed and then simmered until cooked. Once cooked, the mixture is pureed until smooth and is ready to eat. Totally weeknight friendly...

Alternatively, a day (or few) before you want to make the soup, all the vegetables can be thrown on a half sheet pan, drizzled with a little olive oil and roasted until softened. On the day the soup is to be eaten, the roasted vegetables and stock can be thrown in the blender (cool ingredients - you don't have to worry about hot whirring liquids) and pureed. The mixture can be gently heated on the stove (and seasoned to taste, of course). A grilled cheese sandwich would not be remiss here either.

I've made this soup a few times now - with and without the parsley coulis. (Sour cream or creme fraiche is a perfectly acceptable substitute if one is trying to be weeknight friendly.) I am pleased to admit that this is something that even this spatula chucking girl can manage. Even on Wednesday.

Come Saturday, I will be ready to face those spatulas again. Until then, "Soup's On".

Peace out.

XOXO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup can be found here.

20 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about cooking on the weeknights. One big ugh. Glad you liked the soup and thanks for the tip on roasting the veggies first for a quicker soup!

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  2. "Never underestimate the value of a box of cereal." This is why we are friends!

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  3. When we were working and raising our boys we had cereal night once a week. Another night was every man for himself which often meant cereal again! There are times when food is just something to fuel the machine. But it is nice to have weekends to enjoy food and cooking and being together! Your soup looks delicious.

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  4. Matt's been in Rhode Island at training for a week, so I guess the pressure to actually produce substantial meals for dinner was off. Last night's dinner? Tuna sandwiches. Night before? French toast. Before that? Cheerios, all around! Not for nothing, but I've long held that Cheerios taste exponentially better at night than they do in the morning. I have no scientific proof to back up my claim, but I know it to be true.

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  5. Oh, yeah. I'm totally with you. I can bake a dessert any day, any time, but dinners...a drag. Glad this soup was a winner at your house. I love the roast and puree method...genius!

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  6. When I quit working 5 years ago, one of the things I most looked forward to was enjoying weeknight cooking again. We still have our super-simple dinners (pasta and jarred sauce are a favorite of ours), but overall I no longer dread trying to feed the family every night. We liked this soup too!

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  7. How about when you buy pizza and make soup for the next day WHILE eating pizza. :-)

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  8. When I was working I felt the same way…I hated to come home after an 8 to 10 hour day and start cooking. Chinese was our go to many nights! I could pick it up on my way home!
    Your soup looks quite lovely…pretty bowl! Happy Friday, Cher!

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  9. I think a lot of people feel the way you do. I often make the next day's dinner after this day's dinner is eaten (reheated from the day before). Also I make big batches so we can have leftovers. I love your idea of roasting all the vegetables for the soup. I will try that trick on my next batch of soup, not necessarily this one. It's Saturday, so happy weekend cooking!

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  10. I have always worked long days also, what's worse is I also work in the food & beverage industry, so when a I get home, I don't even want to see the kitchen! I am happy to hear you have found a delicious solution. Cheers!

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  11. Hahaha! I love your description of your weekdays. I've been out of town a lot, and have made the last couple of recipes between/on (mute) conference calls! (luckily now I have a home office - not that it does much other than change the commute!). Your soup looks lovely, and I'm a little inspired by knowing that you've made it several times. My version was "faux", I'm hoping that other Dorista's suggestion of pesto with it will perk it up! Happy Weekend!!

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  12. Cher, no need to worry about that confession - I am exactly the same and I only have to cook for me. I cook in bulk on the weekend then enjoy the fruits of my labours all week. However, I have been known to eases stress during the week by doing a soothing spot of baking. Glad you and your family enjoy this soup.

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  13. I feel the same way, though I cook in spurts. I will cook every meal for weeks when we are home, then I can't even walk in the kitchen for 4 or 5 days in a row. Your soup is such a lovely color, looks delicious!

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  14. Soup is the best weeknight meal. I love having something easy to put together that lasts a few days in the fridge. Reheating for the win!

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  15. Cher, what a nice post to read on a late Sunday afternoon (after lunch and dessert) - I often find myself making tried-and-true recipes again and again during the week - weekends can be wonderful for making more elaborate dishes - your cream of artichoke soup looks wonderful in that very pretty bowl - nice to read that we were not the only ones that enjoyed this soup!
    Have a nice Sunday,
    Andrea

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  16. Cher, you are not alone, every working mother feels the same way about
    week night cooking. It is a drag, especially if you had a bad day or a long commute. Cereal and canned soup always come in handy.

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  17. I don't blame you for not wanting to cook after a long work day. I say make double on the weekends and leftovers during the week. I could not find the elusive sunchokes so I did a make up instead. I will have to try that lazy chicken you mentioned.

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  18. Love love love the confession. Keeping it real and I can so relate. One thing that has been both a really good and really bad thing of our move is the variety of inexpensive and delicious food outside our door. Between that and the Baking Chez Moi, I really need to start distance running. Or at least get off Pinterest. We have it nailed as to where to get the $7 gouda burger with sides on Tuesday, where to get the Napoletana pizza Margherita for $5 on Mondays etc. Why would I dirty the kitchen either :) Sometimes I think this makes us all appreciate the time together when I do cook on weekends. Ok, rationalizing a wee bit but I will take it nonetheless. Your soup, by the way, looks fab. JA's be darned:) Actually glad you enjoy them and wish I did - I was actually disappointed to NOT like them. Great shots but that one above the cutting board is stunning. Stunning.

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  19. I so hear you! I usually get home at 8-ish and any meal which requires more than 10 minutes of prep work is a non starter. My method is to cook a lot on the weekends and live off the leftovers for as long as possible. I also NEVER half a soup recipe and our freezer is usually stocked with various homemade soups.

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  20. I really like your idea to just roast the vegetables ahead of time. I keep putting off this recipe because it sounds like it would take an hour (even though I have Jerusalem artichokes in the fridge), and your solution sounds perfect. I'm hoping to try it soon.

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