Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Leftovers Love: Beef-Vegetable Soup

Gentle reader, as I have previously expressed, I am very grateful for the fact that I met the man of my dreams in an otherwise dismal 2016. I am also grateful that my mother gladly welcomed him into our family Chrismukkah celebration and gifted him with much-needed cold-weather items such as warm socks, a sweater ... and a lovely metal thermos (below) whose surface proudly declares “The adventure begins!” (It appears from the graphic that the purveyors expect you to paddle a canoe through the thermos, but I'm not buying it.)

Anyhoo. Christmas morning. “For soup, Davy!” my mother crowed. “Katherine will make you soup for lunch! The soup will stay warm!” And my man was all like, “Great! I can dip the sandwiches she makes me into the soup!” And I was all like, uh, whuuut? I did not sign off on this.

Mind you, he gets up before 5 AM to go to work, God love him, and in January it is pitch-dark and damn cold. I am happy to make the effort to pack him a sandwich and chips the night before, then go to bed exhausted from the effort, eventually rising at the crack of noon.

But soup? Dude. Even if I make that the night before, I have to heat it up in real time. As far as I could tell on Christmas morning, that was the true adventure of which the thermos spoke. And it was now my conscripted duty to embark on it.

I mean, I do like a good adventure—as long as it involves food, and not getting up before noon...

So, gentle reader, remember how I had all that liquid left over from my slow-cooker pot roast, which was based on onion-soup mix and cream-of-mushroom-soup mix and also contained mushrooms and leek? Well, I saved that, strained off the fat layer from the refrigerated mixture, brought it to a boil, and added a handful of dry strands of linguine broken off lengthwise into 4 soup-noodle-length strands (that is not an actual measurement, but you know what I mean). I also threw in more of the leftover pot roast strands (some had already hunkered down in the liquid) and some coin-sized green-bean cuts, and left it all to simmer in my small Creuset saucepan. I added a little beer and water to ensure that after reheating, the soup would not thicken into gravy—even though the prospect of dipping a sandwich into gravy in January did not seem like such a bad deal.

The soup came out just lovely. And when my man's alarm went off at 4:45 AM, did I spring out of bed to reheat it? No. No, gentle reader, I did not. Sadly, the thermos adventure will have to wait for another day. But at least he got a sandwich and chips.

And now, I'm going back to bed.

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