Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Lunchbox's Greatest Treasure: Tomato Soup.

Did you have a favorite lunch that your Mom made for you as a kid?

I often tease my mother about her school lunches:
being into healthy eating,
my lunch snacks often consisted of bran muffins, raisins, carrot sticks
an apple.

Let's just say lunch was not a hopeful event in the swapping games my friends indulged in.

My power of appeal with the likes of a bran muffin was pretty efficiently gone before it even started.

Of course, I am thankful for my Mom's determination to make us eat healthy,
especially now that I am older
(although occassionally, those Twinkies my friends ate sometimes appear in my adult nightmares...

Yes, I love to tease my Mom).

I did see my fair assortment of sandwiches in my lunchbox:
peanut butter and jelly...

but nothing made me squeal with glee
as did seeing the thermos in my lunch box.

The thermos meant only one thing:
tomato soup...

much to my schoolmates further confusion.

Tomato soup, especially if it held alphabet pasta,
was is perfection.

Fast-forward thirty years,
and I am beholding windowsills laden with ripe tomatoes
and my longing for THAT tomato soup monopolizes my mind.

I have tasted tomato soups of the home-made version,
and pushed back the spoon in disappointment.

Where, oh, where, is the secret to delicious tomato soup?

And then one day, I came upon it...

The taste is sweet but tangy,
salty but robust and lovely.

Thank you, yes, thank you,
Fanny Farmer Cookbook.

Of course, in order to have tomato soup,
one must have ripe, fresh tomatoes,
chopped into bite size pieces.

Onions, a small amount,
are chopped and sauteed...

(The large quantities in these pictures is because I made a huge amount to can).

in butter,
as I tried in the last few batches
and found satisfactory,
unrefined organic coconut oil.

 The sweet heady scent arising from this situation
is incredible.

The addition of flour to the limp onions
creates the roux that makes the soup.
(I tried coconut flour in place of the wheat flour in my last batch,
as an alternative for gluten-free eaters,
and it was a reasonable alternative,
although I prefer the texture of the sprouted wheat flour).

 Another unnoticeable alteration to Fanny's recipe is the use of honey
instead of sugar.

At this point, I added some water
(half water/half milk)
as I do not use just milk in my soup.
The mixture is stirred over the heat until it thickens slightly.

A bay leaf is tossed in for a bit of flavor.

 A bit of baking soda is a helpful addition to the tomatoes
if you are planning on adding milk to your tomato soup.
If you eat your soup without milk,
this step is not needed.
The baking soda keeps the milk from curdling during the cooking process.

 After the baking soda has been thoroughly stirred into the tomatoes,
they can be added to the cooking soup.

Of course,
it never hurts to throw in a few ingredients that are hanging around needing to be used up.
I had a lone organic lime and a ripe little pepper from the garden.

After everything has cooked,
the soup gets strained, smashing the solids so as much of the pulp goes through as is possible.

Sometimes I add some cooked noodles to the soup;
my kids think noodles are essential to any soup.

I find home-made tomato soup with milk is not as red as the canned variety,
but the taste surpasses anything from a can!

It is a beautiful thing when you realize with age
that mom was careful with the your lunch box because she loved you:

a sweet thought to have over a bowl of tomato soup.

This is part of my 31 Days Series.

Linking up to: Homestead-barn-hop-82
Tomato Soup


  1. Sounds delicious! I love coconut oil, but I agree it doesn't give as good a flavor to most savory foods as butter or olive oil.

    My mom also was the healthy-cooking type, but she didn't push it too hard. I'm certainly grateful now that I never developed biases like, "Whole-grain bread is yucky," that seem to cripple a lot of adults.

    Here is one of my favorite soup recipes: Apricot Lentil Soup.

  2. thanks Tonya, I felt I was in the kitchen with you :)
    I grew up on a farmette so we always had FRESH veggies, chicken, rabbits,
    and in the fall whatever my Dad shot!!


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