Drill baby, drill. Never have those three words had such deep meaning for me until yesterday. How did it come to this? That an endodontist, practically a stranger, would take his metallic barbaric tools and savage the nerves of tooth #3. I reflected briefly on how and why this came about. Were there too many sweets as a child? Was oral hygiene the root of concern? Is it hereditary? Could and would this happen again? Why, God, had it come to this?! WHY???!!!
And how painful is this invasive procedure? Would time-off work be needed? Would there be disfigurement? When would normalcy reign over our small household? Is it at all possible for food to be ingested? And what about my next glass of wine? All I know is that I hope my wife has the answers to these questions because she’s the one getting the root canal this evening.
So, with hopes of turning her frown upside down, soup will be on the menu. And not any old soup. A soft and gentle-in-the-mouth soup. A soup that will comfort a beautiful woman scorned with dental issues. And when she walks in the door tonight, I will greet her with a warming embrace and tell her the following:
“Hi honey. I hope it wasn't too painful. I wish it could have been our neighbor who had the surgery instead. I have made you a delicious 15 bean soup to honor the deceased nerves of tooth #3. I have also prepared a quick, homemade Tibetan bread that you will enjoy, if you can chew bread. If not, I will tell you that it didn't turn out well and pretend to not eat it.”
She will smile and the road to recovery will begin.
If you know someone who is having a root canal, please make them this soup. It is also good for other post dental procedures including cavity fillings, crowns and cleanings.
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 3 ribs of celery diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic diced
- 1 smoked ham hock
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- 8 ounces of dried 15 bean soup mix (note: you can use anywhere from 6 to 15 bean soup mixes. I use 15 because it is the biggest number I could find)
- 12 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 or 2 chicken stock cubes
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of small dried pasta like ditalini
- Salt & pepper to taste
Bouquet garni (tied in a bundle with string)
- 2 bay leaves
- Several fresh thyme sprigs
- Several parsley sprigs
- Sweat the carrots, celery and onion for about 10 minutes in canola oil. Add the garlic. Lightly season with salt and pepper
- Rinse your beans under cold water and pick over for any small stones or lost teeth. Add to the pot.
- Add stock cubes, ham hock and water. Stir to combine.
- Add bouquet garni, crack the lid and simmer for about 2 hours on medium to low heat
- Check on the soup every 30 minutes or so. You may need to add more water.
- After 2 hours commence the 5 bean check. That is, check at least 5 different beans to make sure they are cooked.
- Turn to low, add the pasta and cover tightly. Cook for about 8 minutes
- Remove the ham hock. If you want the juicy pieces of pork in your soup, remove it from the bone and add it to the pot, or sprinkle on top of each serving of soup as a garnish.
- Remove bouquet garni, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated pecorino and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresh finish.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix all of the ingredients together using a spatula. It should be similar to a thick pancake batter. Add more water if need be.
- Heat a non-stick skillet that is generously coated with olive oil.
- Add the batter to the hot skillet, tilting to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of water around the outer rim of the bread. Don't worry if it spill onto the bread or if it mixes with the oil. Cover and cook for about 4-6 minutes
- Turn over and cook the other side for 4 minutes. It should be crispy and lightly browned on each side when it is finished.
Slice the bread into soldiers and serve with soup.
Suggested pairing: Vicodin.