It’s hard making friends after college. The pool of new people drastically decreases, there’s usually a lack of
liquor conversation, with the majority having more interest ‘pinning’ a cookie that’s inside a cupcake that’s inside a pie, than attempt to fill the awkward silence.
It’s not like you can knock on people’s doors to see if they want to be friends. That’s how you get your pic trending under #creeper on Twitter.
Which may explain my
desperation behavior at my new job.
“Ohmygod. I love Rihanna too!”
Lindsay turned around and removed her earbuds. “What? I couldn’t hear you.”
“I said, ‘I love Rihanna too.’”
“We should be friends.”
Let’s be clear, I don’t walk around my neighborhood, trying to hear what’s playing on strangers’ iPods. Instead, I’ve convinced myself that a new job is like college, but with paychecks. You know, an absolutely proper place to make new friends.
“Do you do yoga?”
Amy took a sip of her tea. “Sometimes.”
“I noticed that you wear leggings a lot-”
She set her mug down on her desk. “You’ve been noticing…what I’ve been wearing?”
“I do yoga too!”
“We should be friends.”
I’m surprised I haven’t been reported to HR. ‘Noticed what you’re wearing?’ She looked at me like I said, ‘it puts the lotion in the basket.’
“You had soup for lunch yesterday?”
“Yeah it was leftovers.”
I pulled two Tupperware containers from my purse. “I brought you some soup I made last night. It’s roasted red pepper.”
“Oh…I already ate.”
“It’s 10 a.m.”
“Like I said-”
“You eat lunch at ridiculously early times too?”
“Be my friend.”
I love making soup. You only need one pot and whatever veg you like. What results is a warm, filling meal (most of the time).
The roasted red peppers give the soup a bit of smoky sweetness while the blended potatoes, add a creamy mouthfeel, complimented by the tanginess from the yogurt (I used soy). If you don’t have an immersion blender, that’s ok. You can use a countertop blender. But be careful. The steam and hot soup can erupt through the lid (when you blend), so be sure to protect your hand with a kitchen towel.
Adapted From Creamy Broccoli Soup
Serves About Four to Six
A pair of tongs
A roasting pan
A medium sized mixing bowl and plastic wrap to cover
A sharp knife
A large pot with lid
An immersion blender or a countertop blender with lid
A kitchen towel (if you’re using a countertop blender)
4 medium red peppers
1 tablespoon of mild tasting olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 large potatoes, diced (about a pound)
1 clove of garlic, minced
Half to 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (depending if you’d like to the thyme to be the hero or not of the dish)
Quarter teaspoon of chili powder
4 cups of low or no sodium broth (I used vegetable)
Salt to taste
Quarter cup of plain yogurt (I used soy)
Blacken the bell peppers by placing them over or under an open flame. You can use a gas burner, an oven broiler or even your grill. If you’re using an oven broiler, place the peppers in a roasting pan and then under your broiler flame. Keep a close eye on them and rotate them with your tongs so that all sides get black.
Place the peppers in a medium mixing bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to sit and steam for about fifteen minutes, or until cool enough to handle. The skins should easily peel off. Remove the skins, seeds, stalks and discard. Chop the red bell pepper flesh roughly.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into the large pot and place over a burner on medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the diced onion and celery, cook until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for two to three minutes (so that they soften just a little and maybe get a bit of color too), then add the garlic, thyme and chili powder. Cook until the spices become fragrant (about a minute). Add the roasted red pepper flesh and broth. Stir all the ingredients until evenly distributed throughout the soup. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat so the soup simmers, and cook covered until the potatoes are soft. (Depending on your dice size, about twenty minutes.)
When your potatoes are soft, remove the pot from heat.
If you have an immersion blender, hand blend the soup until it reaches the consistency you like (I like some potatoes and carrots left whole for texture). If you do not have have one, ladle some soup (I make sure that all the red peppers get blended but some potatoes and carrots remain whole) into a blender. Do NOT fill the blender more than halfway or else it will explode back out at you. Be careful. Personally, I would fill it up a quarter to a third of the way if this was my first time blending soup. I learned the hard way the first time and had it explode all over my hand.
Place a folded kitchen towel over the lid with your hand (to protect your hand holding down the lid) and start the blender on low. Progress to the highest setting and blend until smooth (for me it takes seconds with my KitchenAid).
Return the blended soup back to your pot and stir in. If it’s not the consistency you like, continue blending until it is. For me, I blend about half of the soup in a blender (six ladles).
Add salt to taste. Need a bit of creamy, tanginess? We did. Add the yogurt and stir in.