Curry Carrot and White Bean Soup
at least you're charming
things you’ll need: white beans (from scratch: Alubia Blancas from Rancho Gordo or a small navy bean; canned white beans suffice), a few too many carrots, a potato, onion, celery, curry powder (find one with nutmeggy/cinnamon notes, I used Penzy’s Sweet Curry), the barest pinch of smoked paprika, stock/broth (I used all the bean broth and then added a quart of frozen chicken stock from my stash), some fat for sautéing, a blender or immersion blender, salt and pepper.
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As a member of the Rancho Gordo Bean Club (I know, I talk about them A LOT), I have a lot of beans. Some would say too many. I labeled them all with use-by dates instead of doing other things I was supposed to be doing. I made a commitment to finish the ones nearing their deadline, despite the other deadlines I was ignoring at the time. I made beans on a Thursday and finished the soup on Friday. This is not the soup I set out to make. It was just going to be a simple white bean soup. Then, I started messing around in the spice cabinet. The next thing I knew, the immersion blender was out and the front of my shirt was splattered with soup.
Incidentally gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan (with oil and veg stock).
Every item you’ve ever lost inside of your own home was later found in a “safe place” you designated in order to NOT lose said lost thing. Ok, maybe not all of them. The closet was never a good place for your wallet and there was obviously no thought process behind leaving your keys in the door. You are equal parts Plan and Chaos. You like to think you are more Plan. It’s not your only delusion or aspiration.
Before you get all mad at yourself for not having your shit together all the time, remember that your Chaos is charming, even adorable. Not that you need the validation, but the perspective is nice. Everyone has left the house wearing two different shoes, tried to start their car with a housekey, or something else specifically ridiculous. It’s endearing and hopelessly human.
It’s not always an indicator of your poor mental/emotional state. It’s just you. You get lost in your head. You walk into a room and forget why you were there. You start one project and look up many hours later to find that you are still sitting in the bathroom watching TikToks or have done several many things instead of going to the bathroom.
If you meant to sit down and work but have found yourself in front of a well-organized and labeled collection of items from your pantry, you might as well turn Chaos into Plan and make something.
At the end of this distraction, you end up with beans, which are way more useful than the other messes Chaos has left for you. Store the beans in the refrigerator, hoping they will become tomorrow’s plan all on their own. Add “do something with those beans” to your to-do list.
Tomorrow, start by making coffee and then get done everything you get done, regardless of whether or not it was what you should have gotten done (your Chaos hates the word Should, but your Plans won’t stop talking about it).
When it’s time to make dinner, stop trying to do other things. Whether or not the kitchen is your happy place, it may be the most important room for self-care. Just focus on feeding yourself. You have no plan. You are chaos.
Want carrots. Chop carrots. End up with a lot of chopped carrots. Find a single potato. Trim the end that got tired of waiting. Cube the rest.
Remember the beans. Decide on soup instead of some kind of dinner hash. Chop an onion. Find a few remaining stalks of celery and chop those too. Add celery to the shopping list and make your Plan parts happy.
It’s just carrots, celery, onions, white beans, and the meager pile of rescued potato cubes. Get bored. Start cooking anyway because now you are hungry and food is food. Sauté onions and carrots on medium-ish with a fat and a little salt.
Add the potatoes and beans and broth. Simmer. Do dishes or get lost in something else until your hunger reminds you to check the pot. It’s good. It’s fine.
Open the spice cabinet and poke around. Resist the urge to completely reorganize. Rearrange one corner. Find a jar of curry powder. Open it and give it a whiff. Find your other curry powders. Give them all a whiff. None of them smell the same and they are all labeled “curry”. Wonder if Curry is also Chaos and then remember imperialism and spice trade and slavery. Confirm that Curry is Chaos and also appropriated culture.
Pick a jar that smells warm like cumin and cayenne and sweet like cardamom and cinnamon. Add some. Give the pot a deep and indulgent whiff. Decide it needs garlic or ginger or more turmeric or whatever Chaos demands and Plan strongly recommends. It’s not the order of operations that Plan would choose, but Chaos is super into it.
If Chaos is still running the show, grab the immersion blender. Have a great time pushing that whirring blade of destruction through the soup solids. Step back and enjoy the splatter-disaster of your shirt and stove top while you were consumed in the somewhat violent process of textural obliteration.
Plan suggests that you use a blender, with a properly secured lid, and only blend half the soup because it involves more steps and the texture is more exciting in the end.
Eat the charming soup you never intended to make, born equally of Chaos and Plan, just like you. If you are looking for your headphones, check the pockets of everything in your laundry basket.
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