Summer hardly seems to be the time to be making soup and baking biscuits, but it just kinda happened. Earlier this week I wanted to make dinner, but couldn't find enough of any one thing to center a meal around. I started pulling stuff out of the fridge and decided to toss it all in a pot and call it soup'.
I don't really have a recipe for this, but I'll give it a whirl from memory:
Spicy Summer Vegetable 'Bisque'
- In a pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium.
- Saute 1/4 c diced onions until translucent.
- Add 1/2 c diced carrots, 2 ribs of celery diced, and the kernels from 1 ear of corn. Saute 5 min, until starting to soften
- Add 1.5 c vegetable broth to pot and simmer until veggies are soft - about 15 min.
- Stir in 1/2 c pico de gallo and 1/4 c spicy green salsa
- Transfer to blender in batches and puree until almost smooth (I like to leave some texture). (Be careful when blending hot liquids! Be sure to leave the lid slightly open or remove the cap in the lid - otherwise a vacuum with form and the hot soup will explode onto you!)
- Pour soup back into pot and add veggie stock and/or unsweetened almond/soy milk until you reach desired consistency.
- Heat soup until thoroughly warmed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with torn basil leaves.
I served the soup with some garlic parmesan biscuits that were made from a mix.
It turned out pretty well for a 'seat of the pants' meal!
For lunch one day, I decided to give Ingredient another shot. You may or may not remember the less-than-stellar experience I had the first time I tried this restaurant. This time I went for a weekday lunch (instead of a weekend breakfast) and the place was packed. I shouldn't have been surprised, seeing as how it is so close to a lot of office buildings. It is literally across the street from my work. This photo was taken from my table inside the restaurant...I work in that peachy-colored building.
I decided to go with the 'create your own salad' option, even though $8.95 seemed a bit pricey for a 5-topping salad. I picked the fixings for a vegetarian cobb salad on a base of spinach and romaine (at least you get to choose 2 greens!) My toppings:
- hard-boiled egg
- glazed pecans
- gorgonzola cheese
- roma tomatoes
I really wanted to add the oven roasted tofu, but it costs an additional $2 .
Based on my SUPER slow first experience combined with the facts that a) it was MUCH busier this time around and b) I had a 'custom order', I was worried my food would take forever to come out. To my surprise, my salad was brought to my table 4 minutes after I placed the order at the counter! Unfortunately, it was missing the cheese.
But once I flagged someone down, they were more than happy to quickly bring me a generous side dish of gorgonzola. In fact, all 3 of the staff members that I spoke to throughout my visit were attentive, courteous, and helpful. This was especially good because the person you order from is not the person who brings out your food, so it doesn't feel like there is one particular person assigned to check on you. I was happy to see at least 2 employees on the floor at all times, walking around and making themselves available to deliver food, bus tables, and fulfill special requests.
Ok, so how was the food?? ...Eh. I mean, I know I ordered a salad, but it was nothing spectacular. In my opinion the eggs were cut too small and the toppings weren't distributed well. Since it was served in a deep bowl, it was hard to mix it up.
I hate to sound picky, but I did spend $9 on it so I expected it to be better than something from, say, Panera. However, the quick and friendly service means I'll go there again. It's just too conveniently located not to. Plus, I want to try a sandwich and a pizza. Apparently I still have high hopes for this place!