No, I don’t currently have any sort of plague, but I did two weekends ago. I caught a cold on a Friday and had bronchitis by Monday. Saturday and Sunday were fairly miserable because I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t taste. When the no-sense-of-taste phase of a cold is upon me, not only do I find it most disagreeable, I also find myself craving intensely spicy and flavorful foods – like, maybe if I eat the right thing, magic will happen and I’ll be able to taste it and everything will go back to normal. It rarely works, of course, which just leads to more frustration.
My most recent illness was no different. This time, I was fiercely desirous of a specific dish, though – veggie pho. I was consumed with the thought of that delicious concoction. I was driven to distraction, desperate for it, and my husband, who sometimes really is perfection, made his way out into the night to acquire some. It was fairly late, and, despite being a Saturday night, places that served pho and were still open were few. He ended up at a restaurant on Queen Anne called The Signature, which had a drool-inducing menu and kept blessedly late business hours.
In addition to the gotta-have-it soup, he also delivered to me tofu spring rolls (vermicelli, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, and tofu rolled in rice paper) and salt & peppered tofu.
The spring rolls were fresh, cool, and utterly lovely; the tofu was cleanly, warmly crisp and heavy with garlic chunks and cilantro.
The soup, though, oh, darlings, the soup!
That heavenly, spirited broth – loaded with slippery noodles, cool chunks of could-not-be-fresher vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, carrots), crunchy bean sprouts, and lusciously soft tofu; spiked with basil, cilantro, jalapenos, freshly-squeezed lime juice, and obscene amounts of sriracha hot sauce and chili-garlic paste. Divine, ambrosial, perfect soup! Soup of looooove and all things good! It was a bowl of beauty and delight. I shiver with pleasure thinking of it even now. And it was just a little bit magical.