Not cooking is one of my favorite things to do. If someone inquires about my favorite food, I will frequently reply, “Food that isn’t made by me.” This is partially due to food tending to be more edible when someone else makes it and partially due to my own laziness when it comes to developing excellency in culinary creations.
(If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, things are CLEARLY unfavorable).
But every once in a while, I am struck with the urge to do better–the impetus to try try again–the resolution that I WILL eventually make something that a man could put in his mouth without politely fighting the urge to remove it immediately.
Usually, these urges strike after reading a post on Hannah’s blog and seeing her lovely pictures. In one of her posts last week, she included a link to a recipe for tomato soup that I found myself returning to again and again and again and again. That’s a lot of agains, but I was intrigued.
I LOVE tomato soup. I consider it one of the most comfortingest of comfort foods and would willingly eat it with or without grilled cheese. And yet, despite the bitter coldness of this past winter, I haven’t eaten much of it. While I’m not motivated enough to become a health guru or a true Trim Healthy Mama follower (I’m working on it–I’ll get there someday), I now have a healthy
fear respect for overly processed foods; and canned tomato soup falls squarely into that category.
When what to my wondering eye should appear but a recipe for homeade tomato soup that I might actually be able to successfully attempt? I had to try it.
I had every intention of PLANNING a time to try it, but this past Saturday, I spontaneously decided to go for it when I found myself with both time and the motivation to dig out the blender.
The unplanned nature of the attempt resulted in some interesting substitutions. These are the things I did not have:
-Fresh minced Garlic
I started with the onions and felt quite proud of myself for only scorching about half of them. Then I added my can of diced garlic basil tomatoes. (Canned vegetables are better for you than canned soup, right?)
Of course, I did not discover my broth deficiencies until I had already begun, so I googled how to make Vegetable broth. Prep time: 1 hour? By that time I would lose interest. So what to do? While the tomatoes and onion (and from-a-jar garlic) simmered together, I scanned the contents of my foodstuffs and decided to improvise vegetable broth by blenderizing a stalk of celery together with juice from a can of mushrooms. (Innovation at its finest, ladies and gents.)
So far, relatively successful. Then it was blender time for the tomato concoction. (By this time, other spices had been added per the recipe).
I discovered the importance of sealing the lid of a blender securely before pulsing its contents.
Miraculously the kitchen carnage missed both my shirt and my computer, but warm red goop decorated pretty much everything else. For the next ten minutes, my kitchen resembled a yummy-smelling, tomato-based crime scene (and I’m STILL finding little red splotches of dried tomato soup that I missed wiping up).
Thankfully, enough remained to fill three bowls (Had I mentioned I doubled the recipe?), so some
poor unsuspecting victims family members were still able to be forced to sample partake of my experiment.
Surprisingly enough, it was DELICIOUS.
Alas, I had no sourdough bread, so after all that attempted healthiness, I dumped (Ridiculously overprocessed and definitely UN-healthy) cheezits in the bottom of the bowl (Cheddar Jack Cheezits are God’s gift to Tomato soup) and topped the soup with shredded cheese.
I can’t call it a complete success (sometime I would like to try it with Sourdough bread because it really does sound amazing); but nothing caught fire and everything turned out to be edible (I would have willingly consumed a second bowl had I not sacrificed so much soup on the altar of appliance incompetence), so it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
*Zero to Hero Day 9