World of Warcraft: Lavascale Minestrone

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Warcraft
 comes out today!

I know, this isn’t our first culinary rodeo through Azeroth. We’ve leveled up our cooking skill bumbling through making the perfect Clamlette, as well as kicking up the heat with some Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops.

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Today I want to talk some fish. If you’re an avid WoW player, you know fishing as one of the most profitable, and the slowest to master skills in the game. Luckily, today’s recipe doesn’t require at least ten hours of clicking, casting, and waiting –though some patience and beer might still be required. Open yourself a bottle of Captain Rumsey’s Lager and get ready to make some Lavascale Minestrone!

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One of the rarest fish in the game is the Lavascale Catfish. As the name implies, this fish is known to reside in lava rivers and pools throughout Deepholm, as well as the “open water” of Uldum. Since I live nowhere near either, I thought it best to stop by Kroger for some catfish and use a Lifehacker tutorial for a DIY stovetop smoker to impart some volcanic flavor.

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If you’ve been following my blog, you would already know that I refuse to adhere to strict convention. Also with it being already ninety-something degrees here in Atlanta, I wanted to make a minestrone that could be just as tasty chilled. That’s why I decided to make a hybrid of minestrone soup and gazpacho.

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In addition to the usual carrot, celery, onion, tomatoes and beans, this soup also features spanish paprika, cayenne, bell pepper, and cucumber.

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Instead of boiling the tomatoes and bell pepper, they went right into the smoker with the catfish. I used hickory wood chips, though next time I might try using mesquite for a heavier smoke flavor. Make sure to remove the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes before smoking them or you’ll get a bitter and watery taste.

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So here it is, a vegetable soup to warm you up or cool you down after a long day of raiding.

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Lavascale Minestrone

Serves 4-6
Equipment: Stovetop, large stockpot with lid, metal steamer basket, large pot with lid, aluminum foil, blender or immersion blender.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs tomatoes
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hickory or mesquite smoking chips, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 lb catfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/3 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  • 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Quarter and remove seed pulp from tomatoes with a sharp knife. Press pulp and tomato water through a strainer and reserve. Discard remaining seeds and pulp. Season both sides of the catfish fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Line the inside of the stockpot with tinfoil. Add the wood chips and cover loosely with another layer of foil. Put the opened steamer basket on top this. Arrange the tomatoes, bell pepper slices on one side of the basket, the catfish on the other side. Top the pot with the lid and cover the edges with more foil. Put stockpot on the back burner of your stove top and turn the heat to high. Turn the exhaust fan on the ventilation hood on high. After five minutes if you have a gas stove, or eight if you have an electric, turn the heat down to medium and set a timer for 45 minutes.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the other pot on the front burner diagonal from the smoker pot. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic, and then the carrot and celery. Cook until softened.
  4. Stir in the green beans, dried herbs and spices, and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook about 2-3 minutes and then pour in the chicken broth, reserved tomato juice, sherry vinegar, and sugar. Bring to boil, top with the lid, reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans and pasta and cover again, simmering another ten minutes. Turn the heat off under the soup pot.
  5. Open the smoker pot to check on the fish. If it flakes easily turn off the heat and transfer the fish to a cutting board and flake completely with a fork. Stir fish into the soup pot. Transfer the tomatoes and peppers to a blender and puree until smooth, stir this mix into the soup pot.
  6. Stir in more salt to taste, Garnish with diced cucumber and fresh ground pepper before serving.
Tip:

Chill soup 2-3 hours in the refrigerator if you wish to serve gazpacho-style. Also you can also substitute the 4 cups of broth with a 12 oz beer of your choice and 2.5 cups of broth for a soup worth of Captain Rumsey!

The Gluttonous Geek