Sunday, February 4, 2007

Rotten Broccoli Soup

Rotten broccoli soup is not bad-tasting or poorly made broccoli soup. Today, I made soup out of broccoli that was clearly past its prime. Brown, to be exact. See? Next to the broccoli is the rest of the pathetic produce I bought during my weekly trip to GUM, the produce market today. And this stuff wasn't cheap. (As you can see, I did manage to find one single good head of broccoli. I'm saving that one to eat steamed or raw.)

To understand why I would pay through the nose for brown broccoli, you have to understand first that broccoli only made it into the Armenian markets literally three weeks ago. It just wasn't available before that. And the funny thing is that broccoli has never been my favorite vegetable. But during last week's trip to GUM, I was on a mission to find vegetables that had not been pickled and that were not tubers. I needed something dark and green (vitamin A deficiency, anyone?) I saw the broccoli and it didn't matter how much it cost - I had to have it. Last week's broccoli was in considerably better shape than this week's. When I got home today, the dilemma of what exactly to do with three and a half pounds of brown broccoli hit me. It's only going to get browner, after all, and in the States I never would have bought it to begin with. So, rotten broccoli soup was born. I threw in the brown broccoli, some vegetable boullion, milk, lots of garlic and pepper, and it tasted pretty good. It wasn't perhaps as green as it should have been, but it passed.

I'm longing for summer. This past summer, I bought a bucket of raspberries (three kilos) every week, and froze half for the winter (and I am so glad I did). There was lettuce (now $1.30 per "bunch," which consist of about six measly, mealy leaves), cherries, apricots, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, dill, and loads of purple basil. I really, really miss summer.

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