At around 4:30 today, a mere two hours shy of when I planned to get started on zuppa toscana and posting about it on Hubski for you all, I hit a realization and found a moment of sheer panic.
How the hell was I going to make a soup which called for 5 cups worth of liquid when the biggest pot I had was the spaghetti pot you guys saw yesterday, which might be like a 3-quart affair?
For a second it was all big white eyes and staring. Then I thought, well, what do I have?
So I thought...eh...Why not use two small pots?
To be honest, I could have halved the recipe relatively easy, although it wouldn't have been pretty. Since I wanted my dinner to be at least kind of pretty, I figured, hey – why not two pots? (Hell...honestly, I typed this before I started full-on cooking. It might end up being all three pots. Going to try to avoid that, though. Reminder to self: add soup pot to wish list. Right now I make most of my soups in the slow cooker, which, while edible, lacks sorely in entertainment)
I want leftovers, yo.
So anyway, such did my adventure with Budget Byte's Zuppa Toscana begin.
Turns out I didn't have paprika. Am becoming fairly confident I left a stash of decent spices at my old trap house. This is sad. According to the internet I can mix cumin and chili powder so fuck, I'm trying that. What the fuck, I don't have cumin either? Whatever. Just half the amount and use chili powder so I'll do. And some cayenne for the “smoke.” (P.S. I opted to go with sweet italian sausage over hot; I would not be so daring with the spicy spices if I chose to go with hot – just a thot)
Brown potatoes for red potatoes. Whatever, skin's edible.
I used white beans for Northern Beans because my grocery store has no idea what Northern Beans are and the internet said that was OK. Also, the internet said Northern Beans had a texture like lima beans, and I hate lima beans, generally for textual reasons.
Yeah, I actually bought half and half for this recipe, so no other substitutions. Fuck me, right? (not really.)
Things I Went With Even Though:
None, actually. I've been interested in making this recipe for weeks, I'm pretty down with it. Oh! I know! I really wanted to chop the sauce instead of shell it from the casing. Don't think this would matter. I just like chopping. Whatever, man, hey.
Modifications for Being One:
None, actually, even though I could have easily halved the recipe and only had to use one pot. The only issue with that is I'd have been left with ½ can of white beans, which isn't really a big issue at all. I even had half an onion left over from soup I made last week.
holy shit this is so bangarang it's not even done and i'm dying with how good it is
but ADD SALT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY ISN'T THERE SALT IN THIS RECIPE
(P.S. The scampi yesterday was really fuckin' delicious. I didn't say so in the post because I hadn't really tried it yet. A little sauce-y, but I poured the extra sauce over the extra pasta and had it for lunch today and it was great.)
PROTIP: ONIONS AND OTHER LEFTAROUNDS:
is my stock bag. It's a bread bag (I find it to be a good size) that I keep in the freezer. As I cook meals, I collect things like onion skins, onion ends, carrot ends, celery ends, potato skins, etc. These are all great for stock but the problem is for the home cook, most of the time you're not making enough at once to immediately use as stock. So my secret pro-tip to you is to gather them all up and put them in a bag and freeze it, so that eventually, when the bag is full, you'll have enough to make stock without having to waste fresh vegetables on a stock mire-poix. (Mire-poix are great but don't chop up half a heart of celery to get something you're just going to throw out if you can collect it from your ends.) I also save the bones from my steaks – one day I dream of beef stock – and freeze them for this purpose. DO THIS. It's smart and it's easy. And home-made stock is cheap and delicious and awesome and makes you feel super accomplished. However, keep in mind not to throw greens (like your spinach ends) in. They don't work for some reason. So spake Thasainternet. But seriously USE ONIONSKINS as they make your stock a beautiful color.