Morbid Meals – Tribute to Misery – Tomato Bisque

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EXAMINATION

Misery is probably my favorite of the movies based on Stephen King’s novels. It is a taut thriller with no supernatural elements, which is uncommon for his adaptations. My favorite scene is the one where Annie serves Paul some soup as she discusses his latest manuscript. When she gets overwrought over the book’s profanity and spills a little soup on him, it makes a powerful bit of bloody red foreshadowing that always gives me chills.

Warming up a can of soup can do wonders for fending off the chill of a long winter’s night, but I always imagined that Annie, knowing how much she admired her best-selling author she was nursing back to health, would cook no ordinary tomato soup. Rather she’d serve him up a hearty tomato bisque.

Traditionally, tomato bisque tends to be tomato soup that was cooked with ham and cream added. I think most people who eat tomato soup or bisque would prefer a vegetarian version, so I adapted some recipes to this one below.

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ANALYSIS

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream, or coconut cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Apparatus

  • Large soup pot
  • Immersion stick blender or regular blender

Procedure

  1. In a large pot, add the oil and onions and cook over medium-high heat until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, cornstarch, seasoned salt, and smoked paprika. Stir to evenly cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the broth and tomatoes. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly to break down any lumps that might form from the cornstarch.
  4. When it reaches a boil, bring the heat down to low. Stir in the whole herbs. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the herbs and puree the soup with your blender.
  6. Stir in the cream and add salt and pepper to taste.

DISSECTION

We found a can of fire-roasted tomatoes that gave a wonderful flavor to the soup. We recommend it if you can find it.

If you’d rather use fresh tomatoes, you will need 5 or 6 medium-sized ripe tomatoes. Boil them for about 1 minute, let them cool then peel and chop them.

POST-MORTEM

This is a delicious, hearty soup that will instantly warm you up on a cold night. Share some with your family or your favorite author tonight. Just try not to get so worked up about things while serving it.

Morbid Meals – Tribute to The Exorcist – Split Pea Soup

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Split Pea Soup

EXAMINATION
Linda Blair plays a child possessed by the devil in The Exorcist, the classic horror flick from 1973. In what is probably the most memorable scene in cinema, horror or otherwise, she vomits up her dinner of split pea soup in an impossible 360 degree spray. I’m sure that as a result, Campbell’s stock of split pea soup forever took a hit. If you’re like me and scenes like that encourage you to try split pea soup, then give this easy recipe a spin.
20160411_193730ANALYSIS
Servings: 5-6
Ingredients
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 dried bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock
Apparatus
  • Dutch oven, and/or a Crock pot
Procedure
  1. In your Dutch oven, add everything together and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. If you have a crock pot and want to slow cook your soup, then pour everything into the crock pot, cover it, and cook on high for about 6 hours.
  3. However, if you can’t wait that long, keep the soup in your Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  4. In either case, stir occasionally to keep the beans from burning on the bottom.
  5. When done, discard the bay leaves. Remove the ham hock and dice the meat from the bone and return the meat to the soup.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
DISSECTION
If you can’t find a smoked ham hock at your local grocery store, you can substitute with about 1/2 cup of cubed ham or cooked bacon.
You can easily make this recipe vegan simply by not adding any pork and replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock. If you would miss that wonderful smoky note, however, you can use a little Liquid Smoke to taste.
If you have a pressure cooker, you have been warned not to cook something like this in it. However, after scouring the interwebs, I found this recipe from HipPressureCooking.com that gives a recipe and tips to make it not only possible but unbelievably fast.
POST-MORTEM
I have always loved split-pea soup. Maybe The Exorcist influenced my gothic, Horror Addict heart, or maybe I just love good comfort food. Either way, you owe it to yourself to try it from scratch. Who knows what demons might be lurking in those condensed cans of soup!