The Accidental Soup Incident

The plan was to make chili.

Everyone knows that the first casualty of war is the plan.

The beans, pre-soak.

Everything was going fine until the halfway point. I had all of the ingredients to hand — even got to finally open my can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce — and the only concerns were that (a) I was going to have a struggle getting everything from the pan to the pot without making a mess and (b) my spatula would stay dyed bright orange.

(I had no trouble transferring the contents, but my spatula is still bright orange.)

The problem is in this photo, lurking under the pot lid. I was working from Deborah Madison’s recipe and she had one bit of vagueness that I should have better anticipated and thus there would have been chili. The instructions were to simmer the beans so that they were covered by at least two inches of water, which is a perfectly fine instruction… except when you are going to be using said liquid as the base for the chili. You can see where I’m going here — I had too much water and my chili became soup.

I had turned the bean liquid into broth anyhow — threw in a little bouillon, since it was going to be sticking around — and so once I realized what had happened, I dug out the barley and embraced my change of dinner plans.

It probably would have been very nice chili, but it also made a very nice soup.

Dinner, featuring a dollop of Dad’s homemade yogurt.

There were plenty of leftovers.

The accompaniment was chipotle cornbread, based on Bittman’s recipe (the old-fashioned — low butter — version), which is easy and came out fine and everything, but I suspect that this is one of those times when it’s probably easier and cheaper to just buy the Jiffy mix.

As with the tomato paste, salvaging the rest of the chipotle can was accomplished via freezing.

More space between would be ideal, obviously, but I simply couldn’t make that much free and level space in my freezer.

But it came out okay anyway. On its way to being wrapped, baggied, and stored.


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