soup, sandwich, salad

With a cool San Francisco rain threatening, what could be better than hot soup and a grilled cheese sandwich?

Broccoli-cheese soup cooked (mostly) according to the recipe in the most recent Cook’s Illustrated. I substituted a mustard-ale cheddar for the sharp cheddar, on the idea that the mustard would complement the broccoli. I also added a cornstarch slurry at the end in an attempt to imitate the beautiful, silky texture of the (sadly rather bland) broccoli soup I had at Le Zinc a couple of weeks ago. This came close, but that was before I read the section on hydrocolloids in Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot’s Ideas in Food. Next time, I’ll have science on my side, and it will be perfect. (I’ll also transfer the small batch of soup to a smaller container, so that the immersion blender can break up all the bits. It didn’t handle shallow so well.)

The sandwiches are quesadillas made with homemade tortillas, king trumpet mushrooms, scallions, and a habañero jack that went oddly but pleasantly sweet when melted. I tried a first batch of tortillas with this locally grown whole wheat flour that I bought at Mission Pie, but they were a disaster: tough and crumbly. I’ll save the rest of the fancy flour for bread. The second batch of tortillas was, by contrast, a joy to work. Oh, there’s the baby’s-butt texture I’m looking for! So familiar, compared to the whole wheat dough, that I didn’t even fret much that I was doing it wrong.

Meanwhile, J-P put together the cutest little salad of radishes, cherry bomb peppers, oranges, a little spinach left over from the soup, and more scallions.

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