Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Soup

Before I tell you about my trip to Vegas and my dining experiences there (stay tuned for a future post!), I need to rant a bit about Rachael Ray.

Now, this uber-perky, whiney-voiced, no-talent, knows-little-or-nothing about cooking chick is probably a millionaire several times over now, and for what reason? Because she found a gimmick. But aren't there people out there who want to make a flavorful meal in a short amount of time? I've complained about her eggplant pasta sauce before - bland doesn't begin to describe the taste before heavy doctoring. Well, tonight, my husband decided to try her "Orange You Glad it's Thanksgiving" soup recipe - butternut squash and orange juice, with carrots and onion. After following the recipe to the letter (except for substituting canned pumpkin for the called-for frozen butternut squash puree; same thing), he ended up with an Orioles-orange soup that tasted just like...canned pumpkin. Only after adding a goodly amount of salt and pepper, doubling the amount of orange juice, and judicious seasoning with garlic, onion powder, and cumin, did it begin to taste like something. The cumin brought out the orange, and the much-needed salt brought out all of the flavors.

To gild the lily, we topped each serving with freshly grated orange rind and a dollop of goat cheese. I'm thinking it would also be wonderful with a garnish of crisply fried bacon or pancetta bits, pumpernickel croutons, and a snippage of parsley or cilantro. Serve with a nice arugula salad - now, that's tasty! We'll call it "Orange You Glad You Know How To Cook Better Than Rachael Ray?"

I'm thinking there's money to be had in a series of cookbooks based on The Cake Doctor, but "doctoring" up RR's recipes instead.