Monday, January 17, 2011

This is Not My Mother's Dibby Dab Soup!


When I was a child, my mother prepared a particular soup for which she became known.  When she announced it for dinner, I would freeze, managing an internal shudder and doing my best to prepare my taste buds for the imminent assault.

In spite of the fact that I had the reputation of being a "chow hound" and having a "hollow leg" (I like to think of myself as a budding gourmand),  there were a few menu items that provoked a range of gag reactions from me.  Among them, Spanish rice, stuffed green peppers, fried liver and onions and ... Dibby Dab Soup.

"Dibby Dab Soup" my mother called it.  I'm confident that every family has dish like this.  Basically the recipe calls for taking a soup pot, opening the refrigerator and dumping anything that hasn't gone bad yet into said pot.  Next, the freezer is opened and all the little packets of thisses and thats that were not enough to throw away (but apparently enough to save and freeze for the next incarnation of this concoction) are tossed in.  Cover the mixture with water and bring to a boil.  This allows the frozen bits to thaw and blend into the scenery before they can be indentified as not really suitable to have been added.  Toss in a can of tomato sauce, a can of corn - always with the corn (la vache*!) - and voilà!  Soup's on!

I do not recommend this soup.  In fact, I left a comment - a humorous one, mind you - on a food blogger's post at the New York Times one day about my mother's specialty.  Apparently another reader failed to see the humor in my slant because a comment was left directed at me in which the commenter proceeded to berate my views, calling into question whether my mother deserved such an ingrate for a daughter and adding something about my being too self-centered to appreciate my dear mother's efforts to pinch extend precious pennies in the household budget. (Imagine! I didn't know my mother even read the New York Times, let alone knew how to leave a comment!)

You can probably understand that I developed a healthy aversion to anything resembling this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-in-a-pot soup with the undeservedly charming moniker.

I have, however, discovered an efficient and delicious way to clean out the fridge and stretch the food budget in the new millennium:  Roasted Vegetable Pasta.  I'll spare it a cutesy name but...what to call it?  Leave it as it is or does something clever pop into your heads out there?  Group-think.  Whaddya got? 

Basically, I go through the fridge to pull out a few veggies that haven't found their way into a recipe - and that are still with us in this world.  On this particular evening: carrots, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, garlic, zucchini, eggplant and fennel were given a rough chop (cauliflower simply broken into good sized flowerets, garlic cloves were peeled but along with the brussel sprouts, they were left whole) and added to a roasting pan.  They were then tossed lightly with a generous drizzle of olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and put into a 375º oven to roast until browned and fragrant.  Meanwhile, I brought a pot of water to a boil and as the veggie mixture rested in the oven at the end of it's roast, added the pasta in the water to cook until it was al dente.  Pasta gets drained, veggies get tossed into the pasta pot (or you could do it the other way 'round) and gently folded together.

Now, I'm telling you, you could stop right here and have a delicious meal but I had some pesto on hand so I added a good scoop and gently mixed it in to bring another dimension to the dish.  The vegetables and pasta bits were all shiny with flecks of basil-y green - and the fragrance that wafted up from that pan...ohhhh....you're going to want to try this with your winter veggies one day soon...I just know it!

As a side note:  When I'm not planning to add the pesto, I give the vegetables a generous sprinkle of crushed herbs de provence before they go into the oven.  Mmmm.

This is not my mother's Dibby Dab Soup.  No sireee.  Those days are gone.  This is...well, this is just downright tasty.

(Photo above taken pre-pesto addition...I was hungry and in a hurry.)

Bon appétit!
Leslie

* French slang representing a multitude of expressions...in this case, "damn it".  (That's just how much I hated Dibby Dab Soup!)

12 comments:

la fourchette said...

Yes, dear readers, the title changed from the original post. The result of a post-publication inspiration...it happens, non?

donna said...

i had my first taste of roasted vegetable at the Getty, believe it or not....a lunch there with friends....ever since i have been hooked....soooo good!....just think of the cardio work-out you will have had...all those stairs....there has to be SOME benefit to the chaos!

Char said...

:) my mom used to call it "goulash" and stirred it up in a skillet with some elbow macaroni. it was never my favorite either.

Char said...

oh, my suggestion for a name is pantry pasta (for things straight from your pantry)

la fourchette said...

donna, who knew roasted veggies could be addictive?! And yes...I like to think there is always *some* benefit to chaos!

Char, Now that goulash dish...that's another thing entirely! My mother made that as well and called it 'slumgullion' - and *that* I loved! This soup, though...err....not so much...as in 'at all'. 'Pantry Pasta' has a nice ring to it...thanks!

Ciao,
Leslie

Virginia said...

Leslie,
How nice to meet you via my Paris blog. I love yours!! I'll be back. I'm sending to my g ourmet cooking daughter as well.
V

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

I confess - I make soup like your mom ALL THE TIME!

la fourchette said...

Enchantée, Virginia. Yes, I was the one suggesting the stop in at Les Philosophes café while you were traipsing through Paris, lucky girl. (I love it up there and you had me really itching to grab one of the great winter TGV fares one day soon...perhaps *after* The Big Move...around the corner...but still...I'm gonna need a reward!)

Je m'appelle Cynthia, Oh I just *knew* there'd be somebody out there! ;} Corn, too?! I must admit, now that I'm all grown up, I might not have the same gag reaction to even the ol' Dibby Dab stuff. I have my own version of *that* soup - only quite different...one of these days...it's on the list. Thanks for your comment...made me giggle.

Ciao,
Leslie

ParisBreakfasts said...

Your mother was very inventive in her titles for sure.
I've never tried this or been victimized by a soup, but stewed tomatoes and stuffed peppers - definitely Yes!

la fourchette said...

Carol, Ahhh, yes. Inventive indeed! She was actually a very good cook...it's just that some of the 'go-to' recipes for homemakers of the 50's and 60's were not necessarily suitable for err...kids. I'm so with you on the stuffed peppers...to this day! Thanks for stopping in. (Love the recent dog theme chez vous.)

Ciao,
Leslie

Kitty said...

I do a soup entitled 'End of the Month Soup' which begins with a packet of lardons fumé, a chopped onion or two and a handful of chopped garlic. Then it kinda gets filled out from there. It's cheap, filling and the girls love it with baguette or céréales bread. But, pass on the sweetcorn, please....

la fourchette said...

Kitty, now see, that sounds really good, your 'end of the month soup'! And I can tell you understand what I'm talking about...it's that corn! We are soooo on the same page with that!

Nice to see you...thanks for stopping in!

Ciao,
Leslie

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