Welcome back, Geeky Gluttons, to another episode of Munchies & Minis!
Munchies & Minis is my tabletop RPG-inspired live cooking show for those just joining us. Once a week, I make a snack or meal to pair with a side of dice rolls. You can catch me on Twitch (unless indicated otherwise on social media) Wednesday nights at 7 pm EST.
Last video we made “beer-termilk” biscuits and gravy inspired by The Loot & Dagger Podcast. In this episode, though, we return to Volo’s Guides for a black bean and bacon soup from Purskul’s Stargath House.
A Harbor for the Palate
Today’s dish comes from Volo’s Guide to Baldur’s Gate II, one of the many travel guides written from the perspective of D&D‘s famed bard, Volothamp Geddarm. Unlike his other books, this one’s title is a misnomer in that it does not cover the city of Baldur’s Gate. Instead, it breaks the fourth wall by featuring the Amnish city of Athkala from video game Baldur’s Gate II and its surrounding areas.
The irony doesn’t stop there, though. You’ll notice the dish we’re making is called “Welcome Soup.” Yet Volo says this of Purkskel, home of the Stargath House:
It embarrasses me to have to report this, but the “Granary City” is another of the places in Amn where Volothamp Geddarm is less than welcome. (…) A dispute over the quality of local wines forced me to leave Purskul hastily with a price on my head, so I fear my coverage of local accommodations (almost exclusively used by merchants) is scanty.
The Stargath House once belonged to Ulden Stargath, a long disappeared noble thought to murder his aunts in his trap-riddled cellars. Now, a semi-retired band of adventures runs it as a “well-appointed house of hospitality.”
According to Volo, the inn “sets a good table” with delicacies such as gravy-smothered beef and fowl, crab-fried potatoes, and “Welcome Soup.” He describes this dish as a “robust, steaming moot of smoked bacon and black bean swirled with thick cream and garnished with mint on top and chives below.”
With Amn being comparable to Renaissance Spain, I tried to find a fitting traditional soup recipe. I failed. So instead, I decided to make it with a Spanish-style preparation. Spanish cooking often involves sofrito as a flavor base. Similar to French mirepoix or Italian soffrito, this consists of finely minced tomato, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. my version uses red bell pepper as it has a fruitier, sweeter taste than green. I also opted for tomato paste for a more intense flavor and acidity.
When I think of richness in a soup, I also think of mouthfeel. That’s why I simmered my black beans in equal parts beef broth and beef bone broth to give it a weighty yet also silky texture. Richness does need acidity for balance, though. With that, I nestled fresh raspberries on top. They also pair beautifully with fresh mint.
Want to learn how to make Stargath House’s Welcome Soup for your adventuring party? Watch the video or find out how to get the recipe card below!
Stargath House’s Welcome Soup
Sing for your Supper!
This video will always be around to cook along with. But I also have the printable PDF recipe cards available for my Ko-Fi and Patreon supporters.
This week, my blog post and Munchies & Minis recipe cards are available in exchange for a $2 donation on my Ko-fi page.
If you join my Patreon community at the “Kitchen Twitch” ($5/month) level or higher, you will not only get access to ALL of my Munchies & Minis recipe cards. You’ll also get blog-post Spotify playlists, community polls, random digital and physical swag surprises, AND a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists.
I hope this episode inspired you to start a culinary campaign of your own. Next week, I’ll continue the third season of Munchies & Minis with a recipe chosen by my Patreon subscribers!
Make sure to join me live Wednesday on Twitch from 7 pm – 9 pm EST. OR you can catch the archived episode on YouTube.