Tuesday, October 2, 2012

La Soupe à la Surprise! (surprise soup...)


It just wasn't going to happen.  Dinner...that is.

The kitchen was looking sparse, time managed to sneak away from me and meal planning took a backseat to all of the other planning needs that demanded priority.



Temptation was knocking around like a sneaky little devil.  We could run out and get a dinner that falls in the category of "fast food".

We could order in something that again falls into the category of "fast food".

Or...I could flick that pesky little devil off my shoulder and resort to my stand-by-last-minute-dinner-desperation-decision...

...soup.

Polly was greatly amused at my indecision in the kitchen.  Order out?  Eat in?  Order out?  She nestled herself on her favorite blanket, tucked her sweet little paws in, and was entertained by my little dance with the devil whispering temptations from my shoulder!





I had an onion and some garlic begging to be used.  I had a can of "fire-roasted" tomatoes, frozen corn, and some really sweet pretty little pink lentils.  I do enjoy looking at them in my pantry glass jars, but I should probably actually eat them.

One staple that is always in the pantry, thank goodness, are cans of broth...chicken, beef, and vegetable broth.

"Really Sarah," I chided myself "how much effort does it take to open a few cans and pour them into a pot of broth?"

When asked what is for dinner...it will be titled ...

"Soupe à la surprise"

or...

"Fire Roasted Tomato, Pink Lentil, and Fusilli Pasta Soup"...there, does that sound a little bit more gourmet?






All family members were fooled.  All thought I could juggle balls in the air and simultaneously ladle out a delicious, hot, healthy bowl of warming soup.

I noticed with a wry smile that this clan is easily fooled.  Let's just say that as they were happily slurping away, I was entirely amused...or should I say "surprised"...hence...

...Soupe à la Surprise!!



La Soupe à la Surprise!  (Fire Roasted Tomato and Pink Lentil soup with Fusilli Pasta)

1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS olive oil
1 32 fl oz. box or can of chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of frozen (or fresh!) corn
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup pink lentils
2 TBS herbs de provence (mixed chopped herbs)
1 cup of fusilli pasta
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a Dutch oven on the stove top.  When hot, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.

Pour in chicken broth and bring liquid up to a simmer.  Add can of tomatoes, black beans, lentils, and herbs.  Bring soup up to a boil for 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to simmer for 20 minutes.

Shortly Before serving, add fusilli pasta and corn.  Salt and pepper the soup to taste.  Heat until pasta is cooked.  Ladle soup into bowls, shave big slivers of parmesan cheese onto soup and toast thick slices of whole grain bread.  Enjoy!

38 comments:

  1. If I've got a can of fire roasted tomatoes in the cupboard, I know I can do dinner. Sometimes those rag-tag suppers become family favorites!

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    1. I would imagine it's how most dishes have come about when you really stop and think about it. Lasagna, shepherd's pie, pizza even!

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  2. Sarah...this looks delicious! I am most excited because I can actualy muster up these ingredients in Vietnam..without turning Ho Chi MInh CIiy upside down in the process. So glad to see you have the email button above. I thought I had already added myself but it appears not. I am now in touch and in tune with your beautiful blog..happily.

    Hope all is well on the college front...I am just back and missing her..you know the feeling, I am sure. :)

    Jeanne xx

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    1. Jeanne, I remember how difficult it was to "muster" up ingredients in Japan when we decided to treat friends to an "American" menu one weekend. It ended up being so frustrating!

      I sure hope the email button works. I've had people asking for it but I plugged in my own e-mail and it is not sending me alerts. Not sure how to get it figured out.

      M. is doing really well. No roommate issues! She's coming home for her first weekend and the first thing she asked was, "Mom, what are you cooking??"

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  3. I don't do this kind of creative cooking often enough. This is a whole lot better than take out, and those big shards of Parmesan cheese take it over the top!

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    1. Sue, you are so right! It's all really in the big tasty flakes of Parmesan...forget the soup...just give me that and fantastic bread!

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  4. All the lentils/beans/grains in the glass jars! I look at them all the time and think that! Now that I've completed my collection of all the "out there" grains - farro and wheat berries and bulghur and all - I should probably start using them. Deliberately. Lovely soup :-)

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    1. and lentils look so pretty lined up in those jars!! Now at least one glass jar is less full! We women...beauty first...practicality next!

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  5. it sounds absolutely lovely :) you are a master with all that juggling (i know how you feel....)

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    1. I am still marveling over that adorable macaron doll cake you made for your daughter!!

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  6. Love the name! Soup creations such as this are the best, and a great way to use up odd bits of ingredients floating about the fridge and pantry. Delicious!

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    1. Seems to work for soups and bruschetta throw togethers...and then beyond that...where's the recipe??

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  7. You created magic from your pantry...what a yummy soup!!! And gorgeous photos, too~

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  8. I have a feeling you could whip up anything delicious! We often have some sort of a surprise pasta meal...they usually end up being the best dinners, I think.

    I am always inspired by your beautiful photos!
    Sarah

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    1. Nope, I'm not the "whip up on the spur of the moment" kind of person, unfortunately. I think I was proud of this soup because I can't pull together anything without a recipe right in front of me. My husband can cook impromptu but I really do panic without a tried and true recipe. I've getting a wee bit braver!

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  9. Hi Sarah,
    What a brilliant title for the soup and post. Your words made me giggle because the same scene has been acted out in my kitchen. Polly is just too cute:) As for your soupe a la suprise-it looks so comforting and delicious. I love your photos:)

    P.S. Thanks for sharing and tweeting about my latest post. I really appreciate it.

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    1. Spicie, your new e-book looks fabulous! I can imagine it was a lot of hard work and I hope it gets lots of great feedback and this can be the start of something terrific for you!

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  10. Suprise soup!
    That sounds great.
    Looks so delicious.

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  11. Surprise soups are the best kind! This sounds delicious -- love those pink lentils -- and I admire you for having the fortitude to pull it together at the last minute. I also love the photo of Polly (quelle surprise!)!

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    1. I'm telling you...that little Polly just sits or curls up all day looking so picturesque. The light always seems to be shining so beautifully on her and she just begs for me to take constant photographs of her!

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  12. Sometimes I really do think that you conjure meals out of thin air :)You seem to come up with the most delicious dishes on the spur of the moment and I am forever pulling out my hair in despair.

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  13. yum! That looks amazing! Some of my best dinners I've put on the table have been impromptu things I've thrown together with the little left in the refrigerator when it's time for a grocery trip! ha.

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    1. Must be how the line up of tasty casseroles were invented! I do love a good casserole with all sorts of leftovers thrown in it.

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  14. I love soups, yours looks very delicious and it's making me hungry. Your cat is super cute.

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  15. The tricks we have up are sleeves are innumerable. Great things are created when in need! love this!

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    1. I wish I had more tricks! Soups are the only area so far I feel like I can be spontaneous. Fish is getting better...trying to come up with flavor toppings.

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  16. We all need to have our own versions of surprise soups or pasta or sandwiches or stews or whatever and keep those few staples in the pantry. Pasta is probably my greatest standby because I have a lot of sauces I can usually create from some basics. Love your puddy cat!

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  17. Sarah I have little doubt you could whip up gourmet, soul satisfying meals of beauty...with next to nothing. You my dear are truly able to create the sacred in the ordinary.

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  18. How could this not be good! Yum ...

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  19. Sarah, I ma so sick now, I would't mind to have a cup of your soup. Looks very good!

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  20. I've had the same dinner indecision issue--many times! Your soup looks great. Pink lentils are one of my favorite things. They're a go-to comfort food for me. Great job for a dinner surprise!

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  21. Seriously delicious looking soup and photos! I really shouldn't read your blog on an empty stomach :)
    How's M. doing with college, roommate and being away? Really well, I hope.

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  22. The soup is just gorgeous - we use a lot of that pink lentil in Pakistani cooking, but it's always hot with a ghee tempering and lots of coriander. I just love Polly, my cat (Chino) never just sits when I am cooking - wants a piece of everything, even veggies - freak hahaha - lovely post, as always x

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  23. The soup is just gorgeous - we use a lot of that pink lentil in Pakistani cooking, but it's always hot with a ghee tempering and lots of coriander. I just love Polly, my cat (Chino) never just sits when I am cooking - wants a piece of everything, even veggies - freak hahaha - lovely post, as always x

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  24. Oh..I just love this. Love that - you too - have nights where you have no idea what it is you're going to put together for dinner. The thing that is most inspiring - is that you actually do manage to whip something up out of nothing. Something delicious..beautiful..and inspiring.
    Gotta definitely give this one a try!

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  25. How often are we tempted to buy fast-food just because it's the easy way out. This dish looks delicious. Love your pictures.

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  26. Lovely looking soup. I must say - what a gorgeous looking cat :)

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  27. Soup a la surprise are just the best because they are the perfect way to get the little gray cells chugging along and clean up the pantry and fridge bits along the way. This soup beats any crappy, oily take away in my book.

    Lovely meal and great use of Masoor dal you have going on here Sarah :)

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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