EPISODE SIX: BOB THE DRAG QUEEN & A COUPLE OF VEGAN SOUPS
“PURSE FIRST is a motto. It’s the way of walking into the room with a lot of confidence. Regardless of what you have.”
-Bob TDQ on his iconic motto, good for the runway and for the kitchen
CARROT SAFFRON ALMOND SOUP & AJO BLANCO
Comedian, actor, and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Bob the Drag Queen makes Ajo Blanco and Carrot Almond Soup (both vegan) while discussing the art of drag, the importance of queer and trans representation in media, and his obsession with Bob Ross.
MAKES 8 SERVINGS
FOR THE CARROT SAFFRON ALMOND SOUP
1 YELLOW ONION
¼ CUP OF OIL
½ TEASPOON OF SALT
1 ½ TEASPOONS OF GROUND CORIANDER OR 1 TABLESPOON OF CORIANDER SEEDS
PINCH OF SAFFRON / 15 THREADS
1 LB OF CARROTS
1 CUP OF ALMONDS
6 CUPS OF WATER
A TEASPOON OF WHITE OR RED VINEGAR
Heat a soup pot over high heat. Add the oil and then the onion, a half teaspoon of salt, tablespoon of coriander seeds, and the saffron. Stir, lower the heat, and cover the pot. Check and stir after a few minutes, letting water from the lid drip back into the pot to keep things steamy. Lower the heat if there is any browning going on, re-cover, and cook like this, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the carrots, almonds, another 1/2 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover the carrots by about an inch. You can always thin the soup later if it’s too thick, so add just enough water to allow the carrots to bob around a bit. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to an easy simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. If the carrots are under-cooked, the texture of the soup won’t be as nice: You should be able to spoon-crush a carrot chunk against the side of the pot.
Unless you’re in a hurry, let the soup cool at least a little before blending – it’s safer. Stir in the vinegar and puree the soup in batches at the most annoying blender speed until you can’t take it. Pass the soup through a sieve for extra smoothness, re-blendering with the next batch what got caught from the previous if you are economical like me. Taste and adjust the soup for salt and acidity. Adjust the texture with water – it should be pleasantly thick, but with flow. A spoon should leave no enduring sign of its passing, and remember that the soup will thicken further as it cools in the bowl.
Drizzle olive oil with a pinch of salt and sprinkle with Marash (or other pepper OR SRIRACHA!) as desired.
FOR AJO BLANCO
CLOVE OF GARLIC WITH SALT
TWO FIST SIZED CHUNKS OF BREAD we recommend a rustic white bread
1 cup of peeled almonds
1 teaspoon vinegar
Juice of a lemon
¼ of olive oil
Pieces of the best ripe melon
Garnish mint or basil
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil for boiling and peeling the almonds. The skins will slip right off most satisfyingly while the almonds are still hot out of the water, so work in batches: drop a small handful into the boiling water and fish them out after a minute. As soon as you can handle them, squeeze each almond to slip the skin off. If the skin sticks, dip the offender back in the water to loosen it. Discard the skins.
Tear the bread into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumbers, almonds, scallions or spring onion, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Add 6 or so ice cubes, stir well to get the juices going, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes to marinate and chill. Puree the soup in the blender, in batches if necessary and adding little splashes of water as needed to get it going. Pass through a strainer for a silkier texture, taste, adjust, and serve cold, scattered with cubes of melon and perhaps some slivers of mint, and drizzled with olive oil.
BLENDER / 2 POTS/ 1 BOWL/ PEELER/ KNIFE/ WOODEN SPOON/ MELON BALLER OR SPOON/ CUTTING BOARD
PHOTOS BY KRISTINA LORING WITH PHOTO PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE FROM COMEDIAN MATTEO LANE