Soup's On Transcript

The Kitchen

GUESTS: Marsha Brown, Alton's Sister
             Elton Brown, Alton's Nephew

    Few food phenomenon are as fascinating as the parent-child mealtime dynamic. If you have a kid or a parent in the house, youíll no doubt recognize this discourse.

MARCH BROWN: Eat your peas.
ELTON BROWN: I donít like peas.
MB: You liked them the last time I made them for you.
EB: No I didnít. I hate peas.
MB: Do you that there are children in Ethiopia who are starving?
EB: Then send them my peas.
MB: Do you what it takes for me to put dinner on this table every night?
EB: Do you know how hard I have to chew to swallow it?
MB: [very angrily] Why you little ...
AB: Okay hold it, hold it. Thank you, wonderful demonstration, really.
MB & EB: [both beam with delight]

    Very very realistic, donít you think?

AB: Letís get those peas out of there. Those things smell horrible.

    You know as they get older and adopt the modern American mobile mentality, things get even worse.

EB: I gotta go Mom.
MB: Arenít you going to eat your breakfast?
EB: No, Iíll pick up a Big Whomp at Burger Bop. [exits]

    Before you know it, they disappear into the world without a clue as how to feed themselves which is why they so often fall prey to prepared meal replacement drive-through styrofoam encased garbage. Can this be avoided? Of course, it can, but only if youíre willing to cook and eat with your kids.

    [places a box on the floor labled, Bob's SOAP and then stands on it] I believe that when kids work to produce their own food, they eat better. They learn self-reliance, teamwork, nutrition, and even how to work within a budget. Tear young'uns away from that pesky old Pacman ...

Bob's SOAP

MB: [is standing behind AB, snickers]
AB: What?
EB: Well, Pacmanís older than I am.
AB: All right then Frogger.
MB: Oh!

    Itíll make them better people. Youíll get more quality family time and if you train them right, by the ripe old age fourteen or fifteen, theyíll be cooking dinner for you. Where do you start? [indicates to MB]

MB: Oh right ... why, soup. Everybody loves soup, especially when properly garnished.

    Soup is delicious and nutritious and soup making is one of the bedrock skills of the the kitchen world. All you need is a few decent tools, a little know how, a humble handful of ingredients, and a smidgen of patience to turn your kids into cooks and just about any soup into ...

A Campsite in the Woods; Night

   You know, fire may get top billing on the list manís big culinary breakthroughs, but flames didnít really reach their full potential until they teamed up with water. Thatís because waterís capable of carrying not only heat but flavor and nutrients. Now, nobody knows who actually came up with the idea of cooking in water, but we do know that man was taking soup orders before he actually had a pot to make it in.
    For instance, in Neolithic Scotland, they used to stretch animal skins over camp fires like a big, kind of, animal bowl they fill that with water and do their cooking. Surprisingly, the skins would not catch on fire because the water inside kept them cool enough to avoid combustion.
    Now in other parts of the world, they may skip the fire and move it away and fill skins or adobe-lined holes with water and then just move hot rocks from the fire to the water. As long as you have hot rocks, you would have boiling water. Luckily, today we have pots and pans. Of course, finding the right one of those can be a challenge too.

A Restaurant Supply Store

AB: You sure you know how to work that thing? [video camera]
EB: Yeah, sure. Iíve done it plenty. Come on.
AB: Okay, it just that I really want to you to document this whole process, okay?

Bowling Team
Rolled To Perfection


EB: Just go
AB: One day, believe it or not, youíre going to find that this invaluable information and youíre going to thank me.
EB: Pffft. I doubt that.
AB: Okay, here we go. The modern kitchenware store is a veritable jungle of choices.
EB: [under his breath to the three girls passing by] Oh hello there, how are you doing?
AB: You know if want to catch one of those one day, youíll pay attention. Because youíve got to be able to cook up some bait. Okay? Now as I was saying, when you come in here, youíd better be focused or youíre going to loose your way. Whenever I come, I always write a list. Not only of the items that Iím shopping for but of the individual attributes that Iím looking for, okay?
EB: [battery light and buzzer go off on the camera] Hey, Unc, ...
AB: Just ... Okay, first up when youíre looking for a soup pot, size is important. Okay, now they come in a wide range of sizes from little bitty six quart sizes guys up to fifty quart. But I really like a ten quart soup pot.
EB: Oh, hello, come to Papa. Yeah. Hello.
AB: Hey hormone boy, you wanna stay with me here? Now letís talk about shape. Soup pot shape, okay. I like a narrow pot, okay. Narrow enhances convection flow through the pot. It keeps the foodómore of the foodósubmerged and it limits evaporation, okay. And narrow pots are also nice because even a pot this size, you could cook a small amount of liquid, say two quarts, because it doesnít spread out too much on the bottom.
EB: Um, Iíve got a problem here ...
AB: Just let me finish ...
EB: Hey come on. Youíve got ... [sighs]
AB: Next up, materials. Materials, very important. I like to see a stainless steel vessel, okay? Itís not to heavy. But I want a nice heavy slab or sandwich of metal on the bottom to help the heat radiate out across the bottom of the pot. Now this metal would be to thin. This metalís nice ...
EB: [warning buzzer goes off again] I need to ...
AB: Just let me finish. Iím almost done.
EB: You ...
AB: Here, okay?
EB: No.
AB: Next up, letís talk about handles. Handles are a very important attribute. They need to be big, not only on the pot itself but on the lid. That way you can pick them up, youíve got your mitts on.
EB: The battery ... itís going to ...
AB: Iím almost done, donít interrupt. You want the lid to be very well seating, okay? Very, very sturdy and ... [screen goes to static]

Prior to the invention of the soupspoon in the
14th century, soup was drunk directly from the bowl.

Grocery Store [Harry's Farmers Market]

AB: Okay, Iím going to handle the camera this time, just in case you get distracted again.
EB: Whatever.
AB: Now when it comes to vegetable soup, I like to use whatever is fresh and tasty looking.
EB: You mean, pretty is good?
Well, pretty is only part of it, but yeah pretty is natureís way of saying, ĎHey animals, eat me up!í Ha, ha, ha, ha. What?
EB: Nothing, go on.
AB: Okay, by and large, all produce should be heavier than it looks like it ought to be. Feel that ear of corn. Oh, by the way, that tassel at the end always be moist and kind of sticky. Now things like celery and carrots and beans should always be bright in color and they should be rather turgid.
EB: What does turgid mean?
AB: Well it means that their snappy, okay. Floppiness is sign of being old. Even colorís a good sign too. Oh, weíre going to need two pounds of those. Check out these tomatoes. Ah, you see the deep color that goes all the way up to the top. This is a good sign. And give it a feel. Like all ripe fruit, that tomatoís got just a little bit of give.
EB: I thought that tomatoes were vegetables.
AB: Well, the Supreme Court thinks so, too. But the truth is botanically, they are one hundred percent fruits. Oh, now, check out these leeks, thereís a good lesson here. Whenever you see something thatís got a green top, those tops should be crisp and green and clean. And check out the roots. If there are any roots, they shouldnít be all shriveled up. Thatís a sign theyíve been out of the ground too long, okay. Now while weíre visiting members of the Lilly family, letís talk about ... ah, garlic. You know, people tend to think that garlic lasts forever. But it doesnít. You always want to look for firm heads with dry un-molded paper. And you never want to see green sprouts. Thatís a sure sign that the garlic is old and bitter.
EB: Like you?
AB: What! Come here you little punk, Iím gonna ...

In 1893 the Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are legally
vegetables and subject to vegetable import taxes. At the
time, there was no import tax on fruit.

The Kitchen

GUEST: Barbara Berry, Cooking with Kids Expert

AB: There. As you can see, the dish rack makes a perfect place to drain our vegetables. Now all we need is our pot. Say, Elton, would mind running to the car and getting the pot. I forgot it.
EB: Okay.
AB: Cool, thanks. Oh. and hey while youíre out there, how about mowing the grass?
EB: Ha! Thatís a good one.
AB: Yeah, thatís a good one, thatís what I thought.

    You know, if kids and parents are going to co-exist in the same kitchen, and work without killing each otherófiguratively or literallyówe should probably do some kind of preparing for the event. I wonder what that would entail?

BB: Hey, Alton!
AB: Well, hello there!
BB: How are you?
AB: Iím good.

    Look who it is folks, itís Barbara Berry. Sheís an expert on cooking with kids. How fortuitous.

AB: So tell me something, Iím getting ready to do this whole cooking with the kid thing, here, what can I do to be ready for this?

BB: Well it really just comes down to three things. Space, tools, and time. First of all, if a child can walk up to a counter top and easily rest his elbows, thatís the perfect work area. And if not, then they can go to the kitchen table.

1. Space
2. Tools
3. Time

AB: Okay.
BB: Secondly, tools. Itís very important for a kid to have their own set of cooking tools so they can easily handle things.
AB: Does this mean I have to go out and buy like every pot and pan and every knife all over again?
BB: Absolutely not. You can use a lot of what you have; match the hand to the size of the tool. And yes you may need to get ... Use a paring knife instead of a large knife for a smaller child. But thatís perfect, you donít need to go out and buy everything.
AB: Okay, good.
BB: Lastly and more important, make time and take time with your kids. We donít want to pass the stress of the 5:45 five hurrying home from work trying to get dinner on the table when youíre trying to teach kids to cook. Make the time, take the time, it will be enjoyable for you and for them. And remember, itís not about the destination, itís about the trip.
AB: Okay, so space, tools, time.
BB: Perfect
AB: Got it Thanks a lot Barbara
BB: Bye.
AB: Bye. Thanks for dropping by.

    What was she doing here?

According to Barbara, 13 year olds can bake,
sautť and begin learning serious knife skills.

AB: Rule number one: the cutting board. It is large, it is kept very very clean, and it is kept stable by the use of some no skid shelf liner.
EB: What if I donít happen to have this on hand?
AB: If you donít have said product on hand, you can use a couple of pieces of wet paper towel. It works just as well. Rule two: no open-toed shoes. Your sandals ... Youíve changed your sandals to tennis shoes. Good boy. Good instincts. Rule number three: This is your knife, this is your board. They always stay together. If your knife is not actively cutting, it is on the board. Not waving around in the air. Letís review: If you got to the refrigerator you put the knife ...
EB: ... on the board.
AB: If you need to scratch your nose you ...
EB: ... put it on the board
AB: Put it on the board. And then wash your hands.

    I think heís got it.

AB: Elton my boy, it is high time you learn how to disassemble some vegetables. Are you ready?


Adult Supervision Please!

EB: Yes I am.
AB: Weíre ready. As you approach the board, we will take whichever hand we would ordinarily write withómines the right, yours is the rightóand we pick up the knife. Now the knife should be held firmly but not to tight, okay? Itís not a baseball bat. Now, think of it as a golf club. Thatís good. hold so that itís at a 45 degree angle on the board. The point should be heading towards that corner of the board, the handle should be heading towards the back right corner of the board. And your arm and the blade should form a nice straight line. Very, very good. Nice and loose, nice and loose.
    Now the other hand is going to feed the food into the blade. We will set that there. You take a leek and I will take a carrot. Notice that our vegetables are prepped for success. For instance, large pieces of carrot have been split down the middle so that they will have a stable surface to sit on. Small pieces of carrot have been flatted a little bit on one side via vegetable peeler. Our leeks, of course, were split in half for washing so they will be nice and stable for us already. And potatoes, once peeled, are also flattened a little bit on one edge, cause these things will get away from you if youíre not paying close attention.
    So, you have your leek, I have my carrot we will begin. Now the action of the hand one, just moves the knife. And then we slice through, using the thumb to kind of feed the food into the blade. There you go, there you go. Think of the cutting board as a factory, perhaps, where food goes ... OWW! ... Ha, ha, ha, Just kidding. Where the food goes in this side and comes out the other side done. Remember, always slice through the food, donít chop down towards the board.
MB: [pokes her head in the door] Hello, how are my boys doing [gasps] ...
AB & EB: Oh, bother.
MB: Stop, sweetie. Put that horrible thing down, and just back away, back away from the knife. How dare you endanger a child?
EB: Mom Iím thirteen.
MB: I donít care, youíre still my baby.
AB: He is thirteen. You know heís got to learn this stuff some time, Marsha.
MB: Well fine, if heís got to learn then I will teach him.
AB: Fine, go ahead. Teach away.
MB: Thank you very much. You know I used to be a catress. Okay, sweetie and so and we are going to chop. And we are chopping and chopping and ... OH!

For information on setting up a kitchen
first aid kit, contact your local Red Cross.

The Kitchen

AB: [tightening bandage on MB's hand]
MB: Ouch, itís too tight.
AB: Oh, stop your whining. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Adult Supervision Please!

    After we cleaned up the mess and revived my sister here, Elton and I fabricated the rest of the veggies so weíre ready to commence soup-age. At this point, Elton has parked our new pot over medium low heat and heís adding about four tablespoons of olive oil. And heís going to kind of slosh that around and as soon it starts to ripple, he will add the leeks and he will add the garlic as well as just a little bitty pinch of salt to help pull out some moisture.

4 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Cups Leeks Chopped
2 Tbs. Garlic Finely Minced
Pinch Of Kosher Salt

    Now that the aromatics are soft, we go with the first wave of veggies. Now these are the harder vegetables, that need a little additional time to cook: two cups of carrots, chopped of course, two cups of potatoes peeled and diced, and then two cups of green beansófresh beans. And you can just break these into pieces. You can use your fingers, you donít have to use a knife.

2 Cups Carrots Peeled &
2 Cups Potatoes Peeled &
2 Cups Fresh Green Beans

    Now since all these foods contain a little bit sugar, they will benefit from some added heat. So weíre going to raise that heat to medium ...

AB: [to Elton] ... up to medium ...

... and cook them from four to five minutes stirring occasionally.

4-5 mins. Stirring

    Now time to add a little liquid in the form of two quarts of either chicken or vegetable broth. Now, I like homemade, but there would be certainly no shame in using store bought. Soup will still be fantastic.

2 Quarts Chicken Or Vegetable Broth

AB: Keep stirring boy!

    Now weíre going to turn the heat up to high and bring this just to a simmer.

AB: Did you bring it to high?
AB: Good.

    Well now that weíve attained a simmer, itís time for the second wave of vegetation. Now these are the foods that donít need very long to cook. And weíre going to start with four cups of tomatoes.

AB: Show them the tomatoes Elton.

    Now you notice that we have moved these into another container. Why? To make a point about safety. You see, just dumping vegetation in on top of extremely hot liquid could cause a safety problem. So we have moved our four cups of seeded and chopped tomatoes to this large strainer so that Elton can lower them gently into the liquid.

AB: Lower gently, lower gently.

    He gets them down to the liquid and lets them go, okay. Now youíve got a free platform for dumping in other goodies like, say, two ears worth of corn kernels, just dump those right on top of there and lower those gently in.

4 Cups Tomatoes Peeled,
    Seeded & Chopped

2 Ears of Fresh Corn Kernels

    Now that is all of the hard and fast vegetation that will be going into the soup. But there is still time add some seasoning. It would be a good time to add some pepper.

AB: Go get that pepper gun we made you in shop class. Go ahead, Go ahead.

    Youíre gonna love this.

AB: Got it? Cool. Ah, give us a few quick squirts there Elton. Ha, ha, ha. Excellent. Excellent. Thatís enough, thatís enough.

1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black

    Now lower the heat, clamp on the lid and simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes.

AB: Now letís see how our vegetables are. There we go. You hold that.

    Now this is what I call done. In fact, itís called Ďfork tender.í It means that the food will yield to a fork, but it doesnít fall apart.

    Now thereís really nothing left to do but last moment seasoning. Weíre going to brighten up the flavor with a quarter cup of chopped parsley.

AB: Just dump that in and give it a stir.

1/4 cup Fresh Parsley

    And then weíre going to bring up the acidity level with just a teaspoon or two of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

AB: Just squeeze that on in there. Just make sure that you donít let any seeds get in there. Those arenít good eats.

1-2 tsp. Fresh Squeezed
    Lemon Juice

    Now uh thereís nothing left to do but serve and eat.

EB: Hey, how bout some more pepper?
AB: Donít point that thing son, it might go off! No, weíve had enough pepper for today.

The word soup drives from "sop" or "sup" meaning
the slice of bread on which broth is poured.

EB: Mmm, that is good soup!
MB: And itís so colorful too.
AB: Mmm. And darned good for you. Letís not forget that
EB: Unc, I donít doubt that this is as good as vegetable soup gets, but ...
AB: But? But? But what?
EB: But you see, strange though it may seem, some kids just donít ...
AB: ... donít get vegetable soup. I, I understand. I understand completely. But donít worry, I have another soup up my sleeve, that is not only easily made by kids, but is adored by kids universally.
EB: Great, are you going to make it?
AB: Nope, you are. In fact, Iíve taken the liberty of manufacturing a laminated recipe card for you and putting it on a janitorís retractable key chain.
EB: Sweet.
AB: Ha, ha. There you go.
MB: Great. Now my son is heir apparent to the Geek King.

The first restaurant opened in Paris in 1765 and
served nothing but soups or "restoratives."

The Kitchen

Adult Supervision Please!

AB: Well, here we are in kitchen stadium for the, uh, culinary solo debut of my nephew Elton.
MB: Good luck, Sweetie!

AB: Heís starting off by cutting a cucumber in half and spooning out the seeds. Nice, nice little maneuver there. Now, notice that heís cutting it into long strips ...

1 Small Cucumber Seeded &

MB: Oh, ow.
AB: ... and chopping those strips into chunks
MB: Oh. Oh. I canít look at that. That is very ... Where did he learn to hold his fingers like that? Iíve never seen that!

AB: Youíve never seen that because heís doing correctly. Heíd never see that in your house, would he? Okay, now heís moving on to a granny smith apple, which he is peeling, cutting in half and coring out with a melon baller.
MB: Thatís very sharp, Sweetie!

1 Granny Smith Apple
    Peeled, Cored & Chopped

AB: No, the melon baller is not, really, actually sharp. Now, now heís going on to tomatillos. Notice that heís using the Monterey maneuver*. I taught him that.
MB: Oh, well, charming. Iíll remember that for the police report.

1 Cup Tomatillos Chopped

When purchasing tomatillos, look for firm fruit and dry, tight-fitting husks.

AB: Great. Okay. Now heís got three of those done. And notice heís splitting his mise en place; put half out onto a flexible cutting mat and half into the bowl. Okay now, heís taking the stuff on the mat and heís moving it over to the food processor. Since the soup is better when itís chunky, heís only going to process half of the foods heís sliced and diced. Excellent, excellent.
MB: Food processor!
AB: Food processor, yes,
MB: Oh no, no, no! Heíll lop off a finger.
AB: No, no, no, he wonít. They make those thing so safe that even you can use it.
MB: [sighs]

AB: Heís adding to the rest of that, a pound of seedless grapes, a cup of roasted walnuts and a cup of plain yogurt. A cup of white grape juice, which I think heís laced with a teaspoon of rice wine vinegaróvery cleverófive ... no ... six mint leaves. And heís just going to buzz that up with nine or ten pushes of that pulse button there.

1 Pound Seedless Green
1 Cup Walnuts Toasted &
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Cup White Grape Juice
1 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
6 Large Mint Leaves

MB: Well, heíd better have a pulse at the end of this or you wonít.
AB: Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Okay, now heís going back over and mixing that into the rest of the chunks. So heís got a whole range of texture going on there. Wrapping with plastic wrap. Good, he didnít forget that. And into the refrigerator for a two to three hour chill. A magnificent outing here in kitchen stadium. Bravo. Bravo.
MB: Good job, Sweetie!

The original cold soup, tomato gazpacho, hails from the Andalusian region of Spain. It was used as a defense against the heat of summer.

EB: Wow, Iíve never had cold soup before.
MB: Oh, you have so. I make tomato gazpacho every summer.
EB: That was soup? I thought that was salsa?
MB: Kids, what are you going to do with them?

    Well, you canít kill them, so you might as well cook with them. Besides, if you donít teach them, who will?

EB: TV shows?
AB: Well, now thatís a curious thought.

    I imagine there are some quality culinary programs out there, but by and large , I think, cooking should start in the home. Besides, cooking with your kids is good clean wholesome fun. And gosh-darn-it, who among us couldnít use some more of that?

EB: [being hugged by his mother] Speak for yourself.
MB: Oh, ho ho.

    See you next time, on Good Eats.

*The Monterey maneuver appears to be cutting off the end opposite the stalk, making several strokes vertically cuts but not all the way to the stalk, turning it 90 degrees and cutting several more strokes so you create several squares. Then make parallel cuts to the stalk end and you'll have it diced.

Transcribed by Danita

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Last Edited on 08/27/2010