Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainy Day Tomato Soup

Thunderstorms and rainy days are a gift to spring days. The green glow from the trees and grass is shining through the windows and the rain is trickling. I must confess I really do enjoy rainy days every now and then, and it is a great excuse to cuddle up on the couch with a good book and some easy soup simmering on the stovetop. This recipe is so easy because I usually have most of the ingredients onhand and can make it within a half hour, but it could also simmer for hours if you are trying to keep warm. There is something about a bowl of soup when it is wet warms your insides and comforts your soul. Tomato soup reminds me of grilled cheese sandwhiches and school lunch as a kid, so I guess ultimately it is a comfort soup. Why not dress it up a bit and get some extra nutrients with quinoa or chick pea beans, yum. I love texture to my food and this soup has that and more. Not some boring tomato soup with nothing but clear tomato from a can. I'd like to imagine that "Mrs. Campbell's soup kitchen" more than 60 years ago started out with homemade goodness in a pot... how far we have come with the canned food in the last few generations. Easy isn't always better. Making soup in the pot with what you got on hand may take some cutting and some simmering, but in the end you will be getting the joy of homemade goodness that really didn't take more than 30 minutes to make.

I once overheard a little girl asking her Mom what 'soup-in-a-can' was...this little girl grew up thus far only knowing soup as what Mom would throw in a pot and create. This girl's eyes grew big with the idea of canned soup because it just seemed so far-fetched and impossible that all those vegetables and ingredients could be stored in a can. I thought it was so funny, because it reminds me how far we have come with processed foods and it also made me hopeful that more children would have to be "introduced" to canned soup because all they knew and love about soup is that Mom made it in the big pot with lots of love.

28 oz. can of organic crushed tomatoes with added basil, or herbs
3 cups of homemade or organic vegetable broth
1 can of organic garbanzo beans
2/3 cup of chopped carrots
3/4 cup of chopped celery
fresh juice of one lemon
handful of fresh cilantro finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 TB of olive oil to saute
1/2 cup of leftover cooked brown rice or quinoa

Saute the chopped onion and garlic just for a a few seconds with the oil oil and then add in the broth and tomatoes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and wait for a boil and simmer until celery and carrots are cooked through and add more fresh cilantro in the end to top your bowl.

If you are looking to add something crunchy for topping, use some herb flax crackers, or avacodos, or fresh herbs. Not too hard huh, you will still have some time to relax with a good book or watch the rain fall...enjoy and be creative!

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