I’m pleased to share with you my latest article for Eugene Weekly‘s Chow, a daring exposé of unusual local soups. OK, that may be stretching it, but the article includes a recipe (of sorts) by Chef Gabriel Gil of Rabbit Bistro. I love this glimpse into the mind of a master soup maker. The recipe doesn’t provide a basic soup recipe; rather, it exposes his method for anyone who knows the basics of soupmaking and wants to refine and inspire their own technique. I’m sure some will be unhappy about the lack of specifics, but there are so many basic soup recipes for those who have never forayed into this important part of cooking, I’d advise you to experiment with anything you find that appeals, then come back to Gil’s method.
The ingredients in the soup bowl above (image by Trask Bedortha of the Eugene Weekly) exemplify Gil’s creativity, and I’m sad we didn’t get the details in a caption. But I can tell you now: turnip, pork, and licorice. It’s a turnip purée with a porky broth, garnished with pieces of soft black licorice candy (!!), maybe pimentón pepper? and chervil?, and chicharrones. The soup is infused with a hint of licorice that beautifully perks up the turnip, and as you’re musing on that, the pepper tingles your tongue. Using real licorice, instead of aniseed or Pernod or licorice root, is the whimsical surprise, and it really worked. And I’m not just saying this as a licorice lover. Or a turnip soup lover. Or a pork…well, you get the picture.
I’m only sad it’s gone.
Click the soup bowl to read all the articles in Chow. Be sure to check out the fab article on the Food for Thought radio program with Boris Wiedenfeld and Ryan Dawe-Stotz. I’m very glad Vanessa Salvia’s article on the Food Justice Conference made it in, as well. I couldn’t write about it because of conflict of interest (although I’m not sure why a free event would conflict anyone), and am glad she did it food justice.