Sopa del mezcolanza

…or, “hodgepodge soup”.

Yeah, I’ve already failed at meeting my once-a-week blogging quota. And I don’t fucking care! God, it’s so liberating to just admit that instead of apologizing and making excuses. I have been cooking here and there, but nothing new or interesting. I can’t be a genius all the time.

I made a vat of jambalaya with arborio rice on Monday (not even with any interesting meats, just chicken, andouille and shrimp). Oh, last night I fried some salmon croquettes and made some arancini with leftover jambalaya. That was pretty good. I did have a few failure piles that you would’ve enjoyed laughing at, but I really just didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of the whole food blogging-it thing. One was frozen homemade chili on a pile of boxed mac and chee (hurried together after amateurishly burning the original dinner: linguine with what would’ve been a carbonara with caramelized onions and collard greens). The other was, in retrospect, eerily similar to Oswalt’s original failure pile (served aptly in a sadness bowl): a blob of mashed potatoes topped with a slurry of gravy, shredded chicken and mixed vegetables (the canon Flav-R-Pac mélange of corn, pea, carrot, and lima bean niblets). That the chicken was not in “popcorn” format and lacked a cloak of grated cheese was the only detail that separated this dinner from that KFC abortion.

This is, for all intents and purposes, minestrone. But I wanted to tweak things a little by going Spanish with the flavors instead of the classic (read: run-of-the-mill) Italian minestrone. I used my canned homegrown heirloom tomatoes (supplemented with a bit of leftover arrabiata sauce), so it’s even got a little hoity to go with my as-of-late, lackluster toity. I rendered some linguiça (yeah, yeah, but I didn’t have any chorizo) in a little olive oil with diced carrots and a sofrito of garlic and onions, my aforementioned tomatoes and some piquillos that were on the brink of growing a beard in the fridge. I dusted the whole lot with some pimentón and some thyme. In went a handful of Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend (a melange of Israeli couscous, baby garbanzos, orzo and red quinoa) to soak up some of the flavorful orange grease. A glug of budget tempranillo supplemented the chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste, and away we go.

Serve with a tempranillo and some appropriate toasty, cheesy bread product (ours was a cheesy breadstick, similarly procured from Trader Joe’s).