An unexpected rainy day afforded me the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen all afternoon much to the chagrin of my kids, or should I say my guinea pigs (insert evil laugh here).
I was given the suggestion by a smart friend of mine to go with tomato soup and grill cheese on this cool and rainy afternoon. It sounded like a perfect idea and I decided to go with it. Being the food nerd that I am, I couldn’t merely pop open a can of soup (that starts with a 'c') and throw some butter coated bread with good old American into a fry pan…noooo…I had to experiment.
I found a recipe for tomato soup (hush, I know it is not called that but I am not calling my kids to the table for Tuscan White Bean and Spinach Soup!), and off I went. I used canned tomatoes, canned beans and chicken stock from my farmer. I skipped the pasta because wheat is not my friend. It was a goopy mess but I was determined to use my newly acquired ‘kitchen legs’ (as opposed to sea legs…you knew what I meant) and follow it to the hopefully not bitter end. I tasted…yay me…and added more basil. Feeling brave and confident of my children’s disgust for floating parts, I dumped it all in the blender and made creamy tomato soup. Yep, I called it that. “Come on kids, come eat. I made tomato soup and it’s creamy!” I have no shame. I’ll admit it. I knew I needed to take the plunge before them (so I could decide if I would make them eat it) and threw some fresh baby spinach in my bowl followed by the creamy tomato soup.
Never one to jump into the deep end of a freezing pool, I tasted daintily.
Shut up! This is actually good! Alright…call in the guinea pigs. “Oh kids…come eat!” What? Yours come the first time you call them? This is so not a parenting article, cut me a little slack. My son raised his eyebrows when he looked in my bowl, spinach stems peeking out of the top. He asked me if I was sure about the spinach just in there like that. Oh ye of little faith, just eat it! I smiled, all powerful being (in my house) that I am and confidently told him that it was really good like this. I was not lying (or even stretching the truth!) and he could see it. I pretended not to count spinach leaves as he put them in his bowl (four) and ladles full (2) and I really looked busy when he was tasting that first bite.
“Mama, this is good!” I believe I may have shed a tear in my creamy tomato soup. I did notice that the crushed red pepper may have been used a bit too liberally and I warned my daughter, my I-don’t-eat-spicy-food girl. She tasted it and then added some almond milk to cool the spice down. She doubted the spinach idea as well but seeing that her brother did it, she gave it a try. She ate about half a bowl and decided that it was too spicy and gave her a belly ache (think it was the half a bowl of sugar milk you poured in there, Lambchop!?!). She shrugged her shoulders as she poured it down the garbage disposal and said, “At least I tried it, right Mama? So what else did you make?”
Yeah, I was speechless too. My son, my super “selective” child, ate three bowls. Focus on your successes, right?
I often use the early morning to organize my thoughts into paragraphs. And sometimes into recipes.