Sunday, February 04, 2007

Welcome to 1988

The snow blows, today's high temperature is EIGHT DEGREES: it is hatefully, terribly cold. We spent yesterday helping friends paint the entryway in their new house. Our Hero is basically a pro painter, so he was able to kindly and politely point out to me any errors I might be making. Let's just say I made a few and got to listen to a running play-by-play, a la HGTV of "ARE YOU WATCHING ME ROLL THIS WALL? THE TRICK IS TO MAINTAIN A WET EDGE." He even came up with a closing line for his painting DIY television program: "MY NAME IS Our Hero, KEEP ON ROLLIN'."

In all truth, Our Hero was generally pleasant to work with, and generously doled out (ahem) useful tips. He did a beautiful job, and ah heyulped!

Anyway, we got groceries on the way home, and by the time we were heading there, conditions were white-out. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, bless your hearts. This means all is bright snow-white. You cannot see the stoplights. You cannot see the cars in front of you. Terrible. Eventually, we made our way home and settled down for what the weather dictated would be an evening in.

And what is better for evil weather like this than comfort food with a tinge of nostalgia? I decided on the classic combo: tomato soup, grilled cheese (made on homemade bread), and a green salad. This soup is quite easy to make, you can have all the ingredients on hand, and freezes beautifully, which is nice for an impromptu dinner or a warm lunch break.

Tomato Soup
(Better than a can)
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. olive oil
1 medium-large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 T. tomato paste
1/4 cup white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
1/2 t. dried thyme (or a sprig fresh thyme)
3 cups chicken stock or 2 cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 28-0z. cans tomatoes in juice

Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or pot. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, cook until translucent. Stir in tomato paste and flour, cooking one minute. Add thyme, rolling it between your fingers first to release the flavor. Add stock or broth and tomatoes and juice, breaking tomatoes up with your hands as you add them. Bring up to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Blend in the pot with an immersion blender to desired consistency, or blend in batches in a blender.

Eat, flashing back to lunchtime with mom. And for the love of god, STAY INDOORS!


Anonymous said...

Snow day today, and this sounds like just the thing to have simmering on the stove. Thanks! msc

wellunderstood said...

it does sound fitting for a (sigh) snow day. enjoy!