Yesterday was that kind of day: it poured the entire day, and the wind was fierce. As if that wasn't hard enough, I spent the day getting together my tax information. I abhor tax time with a vengeance. But I stuck to it and I'm glad to be done for another year (except for the actual paying-the-taxes part, which I'll do on April 15th and not a day sooner!). One thing about tax time is that I always feel the distinct need to live frugally. And while I resent that it's the taxes that cause my Spartan life, the fact is that I plain enjoy living off my little piece of land.
You might be wondering, what does this have to do with tomato soup?
Back to yesterday and the taxes. I didn't want to get sidetracked making a meal, and yet I needed to eat. And I certainly didn't feel as if I could afford to take the easy way out and run down to a local food joint and buy something ready made. So I poked around in my pantry and pulled out a jar of home canned diced tomatoes. Hmm...What to do?
Well, this is what I did:
Tomato Soup1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons very finely diced onion, more or less
1 tablespoon vey finely diced celery, more or less
1 can diced tomatoes (I used a pint jar of home-canned tomatoes instead)
2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
half a can of tomato paste, more or less (use some tomato sauce if you don't have paste)
herbs (I used basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and a bay leaf)
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream (optional)
First off, I sautéed the onion and celery in the butter in the pot I planned to use for the soup. (Less to clean up afterward.)
Next, I added the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, herbs, and salt and pepper. I sort of smashed/cut the tomatoes so they were in small bits. (If you have an immersion blender you could try whirring it and making the soup smoother, but I liked the bits of tomato, onion, and celery.)
I let it cook down awhile, stirring occasionally. When I was ready to eat, I removed the bay leaf and then tasted the soup and adjusted the seasonings.
Next, I added a spritz of milk to my bowl and then ladled the soup into the bowl and stirred to mix. About three bites in, I realized that a goodly glop of sour cream would make it taste even better, so--even though the picture above doesn't show that--I added a dollop of sour cream. It was heavenly! Some shredded Cheddar cheese would have been good also but I was too busy to go to the trouble.
All in all, this was a quick and tasty meal. And it fit nicely with my sense of frugality. And even though it did nothing to make me like tax time any better, I loved the sense of self-reliance it gave me to make do with what I have on hand. It's a great feeling!
Here's to sunny weather! May it come soon.