When I was in elementary school, every Wednesday was Mexican food day in the cafeteria, and my favorite approach to the food was to stir it all together into an unrecognizable mush. Sort of a precursor to what many now call “tamale pie.” So I guess I’ve always been fond of mixing a bunch of ingredients together.
Then last Sunday night, we got together with friends to watch the football game. I brought the salad, and as usually happens with me, I made way too much.
“You want to take this home?” said our hostess.
“What for?” I replied. “Even I don’t have much stomach for day-old salad.”
“Stick it in the blender,” she said. “It makes a great cold soup.”
Still skeptical, I took it home and left it in the frig for the next day. I used my husband’s Magic Bullet (which, if you’ve never seen one of these – a sort of Home Shopping Network icon – is an amazing piece of equipment. It makes shakes and smoothies in an instant, and the blending container is the drinking cup. But I digress...)
Wow! You know, it isn’t often you come across a totally new concept with food, but this was an eye-opener. And so yummy that I was really wishing I’d made even more salad. So the next day, I put together an entire salad – dressing and all – and stuck it in a baggie for today’s lunch. I probably got a little overenthusiastic with the veggies; I threw in a couple of kinds of lettuce, some spinach, carrot shavings and yellow bell pepper, and even some sliced almonds. I used low-fat ranch dressing, which I think wasn’t quite as good as the balsamic vinaigrette of the previous version, but it was still very tasty.
A warning: It’s not pretty. In fact, the color (an earthy greenish brown) and chunky texture brought to mind one of those “health” shakes, or maybe the sort of thing the Wicked Witch of the West might have offered to Dorothy. But if you like cold veggie soup, you have to try it.