How Do You Test A Recipe?

As I’ve mentioned before, over the past week or so I’ve been kind of obsessed with soups. On Monday I had soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the past eight days I’ve been unplugging my crock pot for no more than 12 hours before starting again with a new soup.

But with soups, unlike with almost anything else, I will do a lot of finicking around until I get it exactly right. On Sunday I started with this recipe for Curried Vegetable and Chickpea soup, but I revised as I went, and at the end spent a while seasoning and changing things up before I finally loved it.

So how do you test recipes? Are you ever faithful to the original, or do you feel free to throw other things in willy-nilly, and figure you’ll season and fix as you go?

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1-2 leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced

2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon curry powder

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno chili (or other hot chili), seeded and minced

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons bullion

2 (16 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

5-8 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 oz baby spinach

1 can coconut milk

1 Tablespoon molasses

1/4 cup honey

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and leeks with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your crock pot.

To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the ingredients. The spinach will probably fill up the crock pot, but don’t worry, it will cook down. Make sure the liquid comes at least halfway up the side of the bowl. If it doesn’t add water 1 cup at a time. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

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