I’ve been on a cooking bender all weekend.
I have a cousin who is a freshman at Mississippi State University, and Friday night he came down with three friends to go to the state fair and crash at our apartment. Since food is love, I felt compelled to make dinner for these poor, hungry college boys and we had lasagna, garlic bread, salad and Rice Krispie treats (the marshmallow kind). The next day I took them to Roosters for lunch so they could head back to Starkville with full bellies.
On top of that, for once I’m not the one under the weather in our household!
The last handful of days Ben hasn’t been feeling well, which is evident by the large man-sized indention in our couch. Besides antibiotics, fluids and cough syrup, my answer to sickness is soup.
Being the loving wife I am, I whipped up a pot of my little brother’s recipe for homemade tomato soup.
Between two trips to the grocery store to pick-up missing ingredients for soup, I managed to rack up $60 worth of other miscellaneous items including fresh cranberries, canned pumpkin, split chicken breasts, and almond butter. I got four chicken breasts for only $5, which naturally lead to the beginnings of chicken stew, and then, of course, homemade chicken stock. (This is why I have a collection of chicken bones in the freezer – chicken stock.)
While I was at it, I made cranberry sauce, pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins, almond butter cups, attempted a pumpkin spice cappuccino, and a pumpkin smoothie. (These blogs induced my pumpkin cravings and provided inspiration: Bakin and Eggs, Live, Laugh, Eat, Love Veggies and Yoga, Peas and Thank You.)
I can only sit for so long, therefore our fridge is full, the apartment is clean, and I went on a 65 minute run in preparation for a 15k race next Saturday.
Below is the recipe for tomato soup, adapted from my brother, Adam. It’s very forgiving, flexible and yummy in any state of well being.
Adam’s Tomato Soup
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 – cans of tomatoes (I used whole, peel San Marzano tomatoes)
2 c. chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 c. half and half (depending on your taste)
1 t. granulated sugar
2 T. pesto or fresh basil if you’ve got it, if not, 1 T. dried basil
salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add the flour and cook for a minute or two. Then add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Pour in both cans of tomatoes, half and half, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
Let the soup cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes and then stir in the pesto (or basil). Taste the soup and make adjustments, you might want to add a bit more sugar, pesto/basil, salt and/or pepper.
After the soup cools a bit (if you have one), use a stick blender to puree the mixture in the pot. You can also puree the soup in a food processor or blender, just wait until it cools or else the heat build-up in an enclosed appliance will not end well.
I serve this soup with grated Parmesan cheese on top and grilled cheese on the side.
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