Cold and Grey and Suitable for Soup

The morning is dreary and cold, with grey skies and, from what I can tell, light rain.  Last night’s forecast called for sleet and freezing rain this morning, but I don’t see evidence of ice, though I hear an occasional noise that sounds like sleet against the windows. If the forecast was correct, any icy precipitation will turn to rain a bit later in the day, as temperatures rise above freezing and the layer of cold air high in the atmosphere pushes north. Still, the day will be cold and grey and unsuitable to enjoying the great outdoors.

Weather like this summons the soup and chili maker in me.  That person failed to prepare for making chili, though, by neglecting to buy a chuck roast (which is what I require to make real chili).  Consequently, if I make something suitable to the day, it will be soup.

My favorite wife, though, being far better at looking ahead than I, had the good sense to make plans suitable to the day.  But she acted on her plans a couple of days ago by making a wonderful vegetarian chili.  And she made enough for two meals, so today might just be perfect for the second helping of vegetarian chili. She prepared for today long before I thought about preparing for it.

That notwithstanding, I may prepare for the days ahead by making lentil soup today. My wife has assembled a rather large collection of lentil soup recipes that I use as the basis for my soups, modifying them here and there to experiment with flavors.  When I depart significantly from the recipes, I cross my fingers and hope the outcome will not offer evidence of my incompetence in the kitchen.  So far, so good.

As I consider what departures I might take with today’s soup, if I make it, I’m thinking seriously about attempting to imbue my lentil soup with the flavors of Ethiopian food. However, I do not recall whether we actually bought berbere spice when we finally found it in Dallas after a very long and tedious search. I am afraid we did not; if not, my hopes of making Ethiopian-inspired lentil soup will be dashed on the rocks of inaction and procrastination.  Berbere is a necessary ingredient in awaze, which is the hot sauce I would make to use in the lentil soup (and which I’d use in and on other foods, if it were available). Awaze uses berbere, oil, salt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and sugar; I’ve never made it, but I know how I would if the opportunity were to present itself.

My wife just got up and pointed out the tiny icicles hanging from the rain gutters.  So I suppose we’ve had a bit of sleet and freezing rain.  Time to go look into the availability of berbere.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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