90% of the time when I envision the perfect lunch, it is a soup and a sandwich (and a salad, too, ideally). This lunch was a melange of leftovers and very nearly perfect.
THE SOUP. Heated leftovers from an overly ambitious dinner party. I’ve been itching to make a version of this carrot soup ever since I went to Laurelhurst Market and was craving a home rendition of my own. But my made-up version — saffron roasted carrot and potato soup — had a baby food texture that I blame on the unwilling food processor that mostly pushed ingredients around with its flimsy plastic blade rather than pulverizing it into a silky mass.
Anyway: roast 2 lbs of organic carrots and 1/2 lb of red skinned potatoes toasted in olive oil and salt and pepper for an hour in a 400 degree oven. Meanwhile, saute 1 red onion and 5-7 cloves garlic in huge stockpot with lots of butter (optional but worth it) and olive oil. Then, I added the roasted vegetables and lots of aromatics: ginger, tumeric, cumin, garam masala, a few strands of saffron, bay leaves, chili powder, cayenne. And the zest of 2 limes. Anything and everything that enhanced the gorgeous orange hue. Added 6-8 cups water and amazing vegan bullion I found at New Seasons and brought to a boil. I let it simmer for an hour and then, a failed attempt at puree. Meredith and I ended up mashing as finely as we could with some wooden spoons, even though I was really envisioning a creamy puree. Topped with 1/4 cup minced cilantro and parsley and eaten piping hot with crackers or naan.
[Note: we took this on our road trip to Bend and it is even better cold.]
THE SANDWICH. Basically antipasto assembled on toasted baguette: leftover roasted beets, artichokes marinated in lemon juice and olive oil, sliced brie, prosciutto, salami, and mustard. A million flavors, all intense, in every bite.
THE ROSE. Stolen from the sidewalks of Portland. Embarrassed to admit that I just found out the nickname for Portland is ‘City of Roses.’