Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leftovers Three Ways. Way #1: Roasted Vegetablesand Quinoa Soup

Passover is a symbolic and ritualistic event. The Passover seder and subsequent meal includes many different foods - all of which have meaning. Among other traditions, Passover should include roasted meat (to commemorate the lamb blood that the Jewish slaves smeared over their doors), fresh peas or other springtime vegetables (renewal), and, of course, no wheat is permitted (to remind ourselves that upon escape, the Jewish slaves were not able to wait for their bread dough to rise, or, to remind ourselves that the Jewish slaves ate poor, unenriched bread, depending on your tradition).

Since our house is mostly veggie, I chose to roast springtime vegetables (asparagus, peas, carrots, zucchini), braise tofu, and serve it all over quinoa drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

This Passover was a sad event for me. I was rushing through an animal experiment whose timing was out of my control; it could not be postponed no matter what. I spent my entire weekend in lab, hunched over a bench-top with a sterile mask covering my mouth so that I could do something that I hate and find engrossing all at the same time: do brain surgery on 40 rats. For a cultural holiday designed to make you aware of the how you are enslaved in your own life - and remind you that your ancestors have, on more than one occasion, escaped from what opressed them, and that cultures (and animals) across the world experience slavery even today- this was a travesty. I felt terrible. I was both the one doing the enslaving and feeling enslaved. I felt denied the one yearly event that is important to me.

Yet, somehow it all worked. I finished my surgeries at 5pm on Sunday and raced home to assemble a small seder dinner by 7pm. Greg, myself, my officemate Audrey (who had never been to a seder before), and our Jewish friend Josh sat down to a lovely evening where we swapped stories of religion, discussed the symbolic importance of everything we ate, and had more than a glass of wine or two.

When we finished our meal, there was enough leftover roasted vegetables and quinoa (among other dishes!) to feed a small army. I used these roasted vegetables in three ways this week, and I thought I'd share the ideas with you. These are, of course, all very loose recipes.

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Soup

Serves 4

Certainly this recipe calls for improvisation. This is a kitchen soup sort of soup! What I like best is the contrasting flavor of lemon and Quinoa

Combine the following ingredients in a medium sized soup pot:

2 cups mixed ratio of roasted vegetables and Quinoa, with tofu if you prefer

4 cups good vegetable stock

2 cups water

Cover, turn the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the stock thickens slightly. Add

The juice of half a lemon (or, lemon juice to taste)

Sprinkle with

A handful of chopped cilantro

And serve!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roasted veg and quinoa are awesome together... I never thought to make them into soup!