Kochi Jacket 2, and soup

I finished my second Kochi Jacket, and I like it.

I ended up piecing together the sleeves and the neckline, because I didn’t have large enough pieces to cut them from. I was reusing fabric from a dress I took apart.

You can see my lines are a little wobbly, but I ended up liking the pieced look, especially with the neon stitching. I think it gives those parts of the jacket a little more structure, too, which is nice. Also, it was fun to notice the little star I had stitched on my dress and forgotten about.

I think I may make more, because this little jackety thing very conveniently fills a wardrobe need. It’s been nice to have one fewer thing to think about.

This soup was inspired by one I had at Longwood Gardens in the pre-Covid days. I had been meaning to try making something similar ever since, and finally got around to it. It was so long ago I can’t remember exactly what the soup tasted like in order to tell if I matched it. I just remember sort of southwest-ish spices, but not too much spice. It was full of vegetables and chili-esque, but not chili. I mean, they may have called it chili, but it was definitely soup.

I think I got the vibe right, even if not the details. Here’s what I did, and I’m offering estimates at spice measurements because I didn’t measure. Maybe you would like more or less seasoning?

In a couple tablespoons of oil over med-high heat, sauté just until slightly softened:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz carrots, sliced
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (I had a frozen blend of all 3), chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

Add and stir around:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh garlic if you feel like), or more or less if you have feelings about garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion (really I would normally use onion powder, and a little less than this if I used the powder form, but this is what I had)
  • 1, 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Time for more seasoning! Add these and stir them in:

  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • And I added about 1/2 teaspoon of Penzey’s spices’ Turkish seasoning, which has more of what I already added above, but with the addition of ground sumac, which I like as an addition to, well, I throw it into lots of stuff. It adds a vegetal sour tartness without the fermented flavor or acidity you may get from other ingredients which would add sour tartness. If you don’t have sumac, you can get some, or ignore this ingredient, or add some of a similar flavor in another way, maybe by using a tiny splash of vinegar or lemon juice or perhaps even rose hip or hibiscus tea. I was going for a little something to, along with the heat of the cayenne, add a small challenge to the tastebuds. So if you have a go-to for that purpose, just very small amount.

More ingredients, final stretch. Stir in:

  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of wild rice
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz can of puréed pumpkin
  • 1 green zucchini, sliced into quarter-moons
  • 1 yellow zucchini (or other summer squash), sliced into quarter-moons
  • A shot of brandy. Just use whatever. I would.

Simmer that for an hour or so. The wild rice and squash need to cook. I like them good and squishy, and the flavors will blend together.

I wanted mine with a more flavorful cheese (feta) and Rob went for the gentler mozzarella. We also had bread and avocado slices.

Important Trader Joe’s find:

My once next-door neighbor and dear lifelong friend used to make these and, when she did, was kind enough to share. I moved away, and it has been a long time since I’ve had a blintz. I almost cried when I saw these in the case, it just felt like the sweetest thing. They’re good! It’s no homemade blintz, the filling is a little watery from being frozen, my friend would say it’s too sweet, but still! A happy find and one I’m enjoying.