Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Still Here: Curried Cauliflower and Bean Soup

We are no longer picking up our phone too quickly, and our answering machine now says, "You have reached the L. residence. The status of the baby is ... NOT DELIVERED. Please try your call again later."

I'm only technically due today, but everyone seems to have expected Bean to make her arrival already. (I. was a week and a half "late," if you call it that.) Even our parents, who really ought to know better how this works ... news flash, folks: it's not like they give you a firm time and date ... this is more like the "furniture delivery" or "washing machine repair" window. It's probably a good thing that I didn't take off from work earlier, though now I guess I will add work colleagues to the list of people who will be inquiring about baby arrival until the baby actually arrives. Though I know that everyone means well, part of me just wants to be left alone until I have something to share, and would prefer that no one have any expectations at all.

That said, I'm trying to stay calm when I start to feel tightening, knowing that this could really happen at any moment now.  It's been good practice to try and channel my energies into Hypnobirthing techniques, and I hope I can actually practice them when the time comes and I'm really in labor.

In the meantime, life goes on, and I'm still cooking and doing laundry and grocery shopping and answering the slew of email that arrives in my work inbox.  If there is a place where pregnant women get to put their feet up and eat bonbons all day, I think I missed that memo.  (I did not, however, go to work today ... I took a nice long walk, bought myself and the boys a treat to celebrate the beginning of my maternity leave, picked up a few things at the grocery store, and listened to my Hypnobirthing CD, which I was supposed to be doing during the day for the last six weeks.)

One thing I cooked this weekend was this soup, on the recommendation of a colleague with extremely good taste (once upon a time we used to go out for adult meals together on a semi-regular basis).  I was glad I got the chance to eat it (because one never knows these days whether the meals I've cooked for the week will be eaten by me or by my mother, if she manages to get here to stay with I. when I'm in the hospital); I like that the beans give it some extra protein, in addition to thickening it, and the overall flavor is good.  The one thing I'm not sure about is the curry.  I've never been a huge fan of generic curry powder, and I wonder if it would work with, say, garam masala ... I know that would change the flavor, but it would be an interesting swap.  (See Penzeys for a quick primer on some alternative curry blends; they're my go-to spice supplier of choice ... maybe some day I'll do a Penzeys giveaway here).  Still, it's tasty, it's easy, and you may even have all of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.  The original recipe says to add the curry powder at the end; my experience with curry powder is that one usually adds it during the saute step, in order to toast it a bit with the veggies.  I've reflected that change here.

Curried Cauliflower and Bean Soup

1 large red onion, peeled, rough chopped (about 3 cups)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 5 cups)
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 T. curry powder
1/2 t. salt
1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained (you could probably use just about any white beans)

Add onion and oil to stockpot on medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 min, until onion begins to brown.  Add curry powder and stir for a minute or so until lightly toasted and fragrant.

Add cauliflower and stock to pot; cover. Increase heat to medium high. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 25-30 min until veggies are soft.

Add salt and beans. Remove pot from heat. Puree soup carefully with handheld blender until smooth. Heat on low 4-5 min. Portion into heated bowls; garnish to taste (yogurt, toasted pine nuts or almonds, snipped chives, cilantro ... you get the idea).
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  1. People kill me. It's not as if you're going to keep it a secret once you have the baby. A phone call to check in is sweet I guess, but not necessary. It's as if they want to be the one talking to you when your water breaks so they can be the first to know. Hang in there.

    BTW - love how easy this soup is. I made your chocolate heaven bars from a few days ago (that's what I'm calling them cause they were). My husband loved them!

  2. I hope you meet your little one soon and all goes well (read: easy, blissful, etc) And that people quite calling so much. They mean well, but when everyone is doing it, it's annoying.

    I made your lentil, mushroom spinach soup again last night. Yummy thanks!

  3. I love your answering maching message. :-) You need a website that people can just keep refreshing that says NOT DELIVERED - until it changes to DELIVERED, of course.

  4. SO exciting, I can't believe your due date is already here! I love your answering machine message, people really are so funny with the anticipation of a babies arrival. Hoping your hypnobirthing gives you the support and strength you need in the moment. You'll have to let me know afterwards if you'd recommend it. I'm slowly starting to think about these things. Sending positive vibes and love your way ((hugs))

  5. I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and am anxiously awaiting (OK, not as much as you are) the good news of your baby's arrival. It was nice to hear that you love Penzey's too! Enjoy your lovely time of anticipation.

  6. I say you start eating bonbons, from here on out:) (though, scrap that, because what you're doing is probably the smartest possible). Sitting over here sending my good thoughts in your direction.

    And that cauliflower soup looks yummy. I love cauliflower soup but have never tried it with beans - as you mentioned, that's a nice way to "beef" it up with protein!

  7. Surely now must be time to put up your feet and eat...cookies. :)

    Your soup looks wonderful.

  8. i hate the waiting at the end of pregnancy. actually, it's not so much the waiting as it is the sense that everyone is watching to see when you'll pop. i say you just start shoveling in the bons bons! ;)

    the soup looks delicious!!! i think we'll be giving it a spin. i've never yet tried one of your recipes & been disapointed.

  9. Love the answering machine message! Seriously I wish I had thought of that in the last few weeks before my two were born. So clever. :)


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