Friday, March 12, 2010

Soup's on!

My "Everything I like Soup" from 2 weeks ago was good, but it could be better, and even if it couldn't, why make the same soup every week?  Learning from the previous attempt, I made a few changes this week:

--I couldn't really taste the chicken sausage (at least as being distinct from the ground beef) last time, and I also was surprised, in retrospect, that I bought such lean ground beef.  Also I had wanted the soup to come out as 6 servings, but it only did so with what I would consider smallish servings.  So this week I went up to 2 lbs of only 85% lean (grass fed) ground beef.

--Another volume add on was 2 (6 oz) cans of tomato paste instead of 1.  This should hopefully bring the tomato sweetness and flavor out a little and again, increase volume.

--More spices!  Especially more crushed red pepper.  Hotter and hotter little soup, ever hotter!

--Bigger Onion.  I was disappointed in how little my onion yielded in the end last week.

--I did 2 jalapenos and 1 poblano pepper this week, but I fear that still isn't going to be enough.  Maybe I should leave the jalapeno seeds in next time.  Or switch from jalapeno to habenero.  I always chicken out on the peppers and tabasco at the last minute, even though I've NEVER made a chili hot enough since my spicy asian soup kick way back when.

--Went up from 6 cloves of garlic to 8, since I liked the soup the most last week when I ate it out of the preparation bowl that had the garlic in it.

--This week Mr. Monk is NOT getting a chili powder covered bean.  For reasons best left unspecified.

When I taste this this week, I need to ask myself:

Is it hot enough?
Did the extra tomato paste make it tomatoey enough, or do I need more diced tomatoes?
Should I maybe put in some brown sugar next time?
Or mess with the beer / beef stock ration?
More garlic?

I need to not be afraid of flavor!