Sunday, October 30, 2005

Savory Soups to Sip

The following soups are my family's favorites:

Garlicky Garbanzo Soup

Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings (but I double this)

Here is a quick and easy, but rich tasting soup...

29 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 c. (packed) packaged, prewashed baby spinach; or thinly sliced regular spinach leaves
3 cups chicken broth or chicken bouillon
8 large cloves garlic (Yes! 8! Don't skimp!)
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the spinach, in a 4 qt. pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer the ingredients to a blender, and puree until smooth.
3. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the spinach. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 mins., or until the spinach is tender. Serve immediately.

Butternut and Ham Bisque

Yield: 6 servings Source: Family Fun magazine

This recipe is more work, but very rewarding!

2 T. butter
1 very large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 c. peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes (sometimes I omit this w/o much consequence)
5 c. chicken stock or chicken bouillon
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 c. light cream (I've been known to use milk)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham

Melt butter in medium soup pot or a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and rosemary. Partially cover the pan and cook the onion over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.

Add the squash, potatoes, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a low boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the soup solids and a ladleful of broth to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. Stir the puree back into the broth. Stir in the pepper, cream, and ham, heating for several minutes before serving.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Movie Night (Links and Trivia)

I am not a fan of war movies, or so I thought until I read World magazine's review of To End All Wars and watched that particular movie. To End All Wars was deeply moving and thought-provoking. It portrayed the contrast between the Japanese code of bushido and a Christian world view. The film conveyed the life-changing power of self -sacrifice. Though it realistically showed the brutality of the POW camp, I felt uplifted and inspired at the end of the movie, rather than empty and depressed. I loved how it illustrated the eloquence of Shakespeare speaking of the human condition and giving voice to even the prisoner's experience. But even more, I deeply appreciated how it displayed the power of God's Word and the Lord Jesus to transform the lives of prisoners and captors alike.

Tonight, my husband and I watched
The Bridge over the River Kwai. While the movie, was well-done and worth watching, I still prefer To End All Wars.

I must say, we were surprised at the similarities between the two movies, especially at the beginning (and not just because they were both set in a Japanese POW camp).
The Bridge was an excellent character study of an individualistic American soldier, a British officer devoted to principle, and the ruthless Japanese officer driven by the code of bushido, each changing
profoundly during the course of the film. However, I think that the final words uttered in the movie summed up the main theme: "Madness! Madness!"

The Bridge contained one of the most familiar marching tunes, called Colonel Bogey's March. Sadly, I recognized the tune, because it is featured in a commercial. It is on the tip of
my tongue...I can't remember. If you can remember the commercial, please let me know what it is in the comment section!

About a month ago, we watched yet another prison camp movie:
The Great Escape. I liked that movie even more than The Bridge. I won't say much about it, except that Chicken Run became even more funny after watching The Great Escape!

Another bit of trivia: While watching
Chicken Run, I had a nagging feeling that I recognized the voice of Ginger the Hen. I kept thinking, Pride and Prejudice...Nah! But, I did discover that the actress who voiced the character of Ginger indeed played in the A&E Pride and Prejudice.

Her name is... Do you know? (Don't post it in the comment section if I already mentioned it to you!) And of course, the rooster character was voiced by...