I had no choice. It was an emergency. I had to wash the soup.....
Whoever heard of 'washing soup'?!
Let me tell you a story.
It was my Mother-in-Law's birthday. She'd invited a ton of guests to a late night supper. The plan was just to chill and catch up, have a bowl of soup and bread, blow out some candles....you know...birthday stuff.
Now as the kitchen enthusiast in the family, she'd asked me if I minded making the main meal-
It was to be an authentic Hungarian Goulash soup.
Of course I readily agreed. Food is my love language, after all. And of course I wanted it to be the best, yummiest, knock-your-socks-off goulash soup ever....
So I found a recipe online. Great reviews. I was set. Went shopping, scaled the ingredients up by 5 times. (I was cooking for a LOT of goulash-eaters that day!)
But following recipes is not how I normally operate in the kitchen. I'm more of a 'follow your gut, trust your tongue' kinda cook....so...
I accidentally got the recipe wrong.
I inadvertently emptied half of the rather large spice shaker of 'very hot chilli powder' into the soup instead of the 'sweet smoked paprika powder' (in my defence, both ARE red!!).
Extremely spicy, tongue-scorching soup. (Even for me, and I like spicy!)
My mother in law flapped around in a panic. We started getting creative.
We added sugar (might it help?)
Added some tomatoes (could it add some different flavour?)
Dumped in a bunch of potato cubes (might it soak up the spice?)
Finally half a bottle of red wine (her idea...not mine....might it make things taste refined?)
She declared it a failure and got into her car to go to a gas station to buy canned soup.
No offence to canned soup, but....oh...not this...I was not losing to a can!
I rolled up my sleeves, surveyed the damage, inspected the lovely, tender meat in the pot, and then realised what I needed to do....
I would wash the soup!
I strained the offending spicy hell-broth out, gently rinsed the odd assortment of vegetables and incredibly tender meat off with a bit of water, got some homemade stock, threw everything back in, and made......
A MEL soup.
It was a mish-mash of chaos, served with love. Born in a moment of utter desperation.
My mother in law didn't have to use the cans she came back with 20 minutes later.
People even went back for seconds and asked for the recipe. The soup was completely gone in 30 minutes.
My point? :
If you're following a recipe and it goes wrong, trust your gut.
Don't be afraid to make radical changes like soup washing, if it feels right.
If you need a backup (there's always canned soup), leave the door open, but don't give up on your goal.
Cook with your gut, check with your tongue. You've got more skills in you than you'd ever dream!
Fellow parents, I'm talking to you. Bet you've had a few soup-washing days of your own with your kids right? What were the things that helped you most?