“Food history is as important as a baroque church. Governments should recognize cultural heritage and protect traditional foods. A cheese is as worthy of preserving as a sixteenth-century building.” – Carlo Petrini
If I had all the time in the world, I would like very much to learn the origins of all kinds of different foods. Who created the very first lasagna? Who was General Tso, exactly? Why are cakes the chosen confection for birthday celebrations? How did Shoo Fly pie get its intriguing moniker? Actually on second thought, maybe I don’t want to know that one. I was a History major in college, a discipline I chose for the following oversimplified reason: I love a good story. I precisely remember the day I made the switch from Marketing to History, patting myself firmly on the back for my choice. Marketing schmarketing, I thought to myself. I’m going to sit back, relax, and learn the great stories of the world for the next few years. While it may not have been all fairy tales, epic battles and edge-of-your-seat thrill rides, the choice was a solid one. I found that taking tests, writing papers and attending early morning classes were much much more appealing tasks when they all revolved around stories, rather than Econ 101, Business Calc, and Principles of Accounting. That’s just me though. To each his own, of course.
“The word restaurant (meaning “something restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup sold by street vendors that was advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word “restaurant” for eating establishments.“
The beets, carrots and onions in this recipe will eventually be pureed after they’ve cooked and softened in the pot. So when you’re prepping your food, there’s no need to chop anything too finely or too perfectly. Just try to get them the same size so they cook evenly.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1 lb. carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Creme fraiche or sour cream for topping
Place the first eight ingredients into a large pot over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the stock and coconut milk to the pan, stir, and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the veggies are all soft.
Puree the contents of the pot with an immersion blender or a food processor until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with sour cream.