Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Garlic Soup & Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale
Rogue - Newport, OR
30 IBUs

~~ paired with ~~

Garlic Soup, recipe adapted from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
16-20 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts veggie broth
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds
5-7 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
black pepper
wheat baguette
Parmesan cheese

In a soup or stockpot, heat about 1-1.5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
Sauté the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the herbs. Add the broth and herbs, let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add a few generous dashes of sherry, simmer for another 5 minutes. Take a swig of the sherry.

Season the soup with black pepper, salt, and a little more sherry. To serve, place slices of baguette on the bottom of a bowl. Ladle the soup over the top. Garnish with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Nothing is better than soup. Well, maybe beer. But other than that, nothing. This soup makes magic of the simplest veggies which are in ample supply in the winter.

And speaking of things that are comforting, Rogue in Newport, OR serves up 22oz bottles of their tasty specialty ales, one of which is Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale. The Rogue website informs us that this brew is part of their Signature Series with Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Beautiful brown-red tones gleam from the glass. The nose is hoppy and spicy and blends well with the flowery herbal aromas of the soup. Roasted soba (buckwheat) adds a nutty flavor to the beer which is a little surprising, but pleasant. The huge amounts of garlic in the soup are also surprising, but pleasant. Coincidence? Maybe. Anyway, the nutty flavors blend perfectly with the garlic, inspiring me to begin imagining a sauce or something that combines garlic and nuts.

The hops reassert themselves in the flavor as well. The Dugg pointed out that every hop addition to this beer has been amped up; aroma, bitterness, and flavor.

The MBOSA finishes dry. Spicy dry. Bone dry. After a few mouthfuls of this beer, the sweet flavors of the carrots and potatoes in the soup taste new. As if you'd never tasted a carrot or potato before in your life. The beer reboots the palette.

Our recommendation: put on some pj's, ladle out a bowl of garlic soup, split (or not) a bottle of the
Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale, and spin up a DVD of a TV series you've been meaning to catch up on. For us, it was Battlestar Galactica.

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