Vegetable Stock and Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

While looking up recipes for vegetable stock I came across the wise advice of Jamie Oliver, “I find that I tend to make this after we’ve had our Sunday roast − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have”. Any root veg and herbs I happen to have!?! Well, I can do THAT in Korea. After having too much food poisoning and buying bad chicken from the store, I eat mostly vegetarian. Adventures in stock making was so easy, much easier than finding vegetable stock at the store (I got some beef stock but it tastes weird- like it wasn’t made in the US! HAHAHA). So what veg and herb did I have? After prepping for stuffed pepper soup I had some extras for the stock:

Veg:
1 1/2 Onion; really the top, bottom and outer skin of two onions- this includes the peel
One Carrot; roughly chopped
One bell pepper; remains of a green and orange pepper
Four cloves garlic; smashed with the peel on
1/2 a leek; big pieces
Herbs:
1/2 bunch of green onion; cut into four
1/2 bunch Chinese celery; scrunched a few times then cut into four

With some grape oil, I browned the veg threw in the herbs- let them sweat it out a little, then filled with water and covered with a lid. After putting the heat really low, I watch Fantastic Four and Dr.T and the Women. Both of which I had never seen, they were entertaining but not as good as Christian Bale as Batman. He reminds me of Wyll. I’m fine being the only one who sees it.
Christian Bale

After three or so hours of movie watching, I put a colander in a mixing bowl and separated the now colorless vegetables from the now flavor rich, brown water. Stock done, moving to the soup!

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup (you will need 2 pounds of blanched, diced tomatoes):

In a hot pan with a little grape oil add diced:

One onion
One green pepper
One red pepper
Four cloves of garlic
One pound blanched tomatoes

Cover with Spices- to taste:
Paprika
Cayenne
Chili powder
Salt

Then add the Other ingredients:
Half gallon of stock- enough to cover the veg and feed the rice

Once the soup is hot and the spices are incorporated taste that bad boy, make any final adjustments then add:
One cup clean rice

This soup ends up really thick like a chili. I topped it with yogurt, lemon and green onions. Enjoy!

Say what!?!

I consider today to be a huge success.

I got some one-on-one time with my partner and we talked about the many possibilities the future holds. We’re 18 weeks pregnant and have almost no idea about the next step. We threw around several ideas but the main one was to focus on what’s happening now. I’m growing a child and Wyll is launching his board game after three years in the works! I’m so proud of him and excited to see how it goes. Nervous to see where it takes us and happy to see us becoming more adult. It feels like when we decide on a plan it changes, so I’m comfortable without one or having one that includes the possibility of change.

Friends and Foes at Big Bad Con 2014

Being pregnant in Korea is super fun, I’m forced to have a stress-free time. Adults in the know, often remind me to sit down, take a rest. Zenith has been super sweet. My class time has been cut and my co-workers ensure I’m not overrun. I’ve been given iron supplements, seaweed soup, fruit and even had chairs taken from others and brought to me. Since July, being away from all my family was intended to be a good experience. The first trimester of pregnancy was awful. It probably took me a month to get over the jet lag. The exhaustion was so intense. I stopped learning Korean and slept 12+ hours a day. Concerned students thought I was seriously ill.

The concern for my health doesn’t stop in Korea, family and friends in the states often express their worries. On the American side of things, my mom and little brother are coming to Korea this Thursday. Yeah, this Thursday! I’m so excited. My mom has never been out of the states and my brother is eight. I think it will be a wonderful learning experience for both of them. My brother may even pick up some of the language. I’m ready to start doing things. There’s a Studio Ghibli exhibit in Seoul I think my brother will love. There might even be a trip to Malaysia in the works.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten my energy back and taken advantage of the solo time. Today I went to Conga, the local coffee shop and read my economics book, Capital by Thomas Piketty, finishing the first section! It’s a good refresher for me, I hope the following sections will have some new information. It’s funny to understand where Piketty is going moments before he reveals it, making it almost like a mystery novel.

After all that reading, I picked up supplies to make vegetable stock and Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup. It was my first adventure in making stock and blanching tomatoes.The result is really tasty, but The Bell Pepper Soup wouldn’t be as great without the spices Wyll picked up for me on a recent trip to California. I was really pleased because it was all vegetables that I transformed into something pretty wild. I didn’t have some of the ingredients and my substitutes worked out well.