One of my sons and his sweet wife were talking about soup for dinner – tomato soup to be exact. It was cool outside, cloudy with a chance of rain. Tomato soup sounded good to me, too, so I volunteered to make a pot for after work.
I’d never made tomato soup before, but tomato is a language I understand. While everyone went on their way, I dug into my freezer, looking for a half gallon of stewed tomatoes I’d put up last summer.
If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, anything about meal time is a good place to start.
For the boys in college during quarantine, what I cooked and when I cooked provided a normal moment in an abnormal season. It was challenging for us all, though. Because of my surgery, I wasn’t back to to every-day cooking until recently. They missed my actions backing up my words, “I love you.”
For one son and his wife – this dad and mom of one with another arriving in a few weeks, Tomato Soup didn’t just say, “I love you.” It said, “How can I make your day a little better? How can I help take pressure off, pressure is all you feel at nine months?”
I can tell my boys I love them, but, for the most of them, the words aren’t as important as actions. My Father-in-Law used to say of people, “I can’t hear what their saying over the sound of their actions.”
Love makes their favorite dishes – not mine. A few months go, I made creamed tuna. That was for me. The Flourless Chocolate Torte? I make that for me. Pancakes and Hoe Cakes? Baklava? Soup Beans? Chili? This tomato soup? They’re all for loving someone else!
Sometimes, cooking is a sweet duet of words and actions – “I love you” in action!
There’s a lot of things I’m not good at – but one thing I can do is whip up a dish to make someone else’s day a little better. Maybe this recipe will do the same for you!
“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ~ James 2: 14-17, The Message
Muddy’s Tomato Soup – Secret Ingredient (LOVE)
I green Pepper
1/2 large vidalia onion
5 Garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
8 Cups Stewed Tomatoes (I used 2 quarts tomates cooked and frozen from lasts summer). If using fresh tomatoes, blanch and peel tomatoes and simmer until most of the juice is gone before continuing)
6 ounces Tomato Paste (1 small can)
3 cups water with 3 bouillon cubes or 3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup fresh Basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Marjoram
1 tsp Summer Savory
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
Sautee green pepper and onion until barely tender. Add garlic cloves, minced, for three more minutes.
Add stewed tomatoes and paste, stirring until incorporated.
Add chicken broth or water with bouillon cubes, stirring until evenly mixed.
Add all other ingredients. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Leftovers freeze well and can be used, if heavily simmered until thickened, on eggs, toast, even for eggplant parmesan!
Serve with a grilled cheese, maybe a grilled country ham and cheese, or a jalapeno and cheese!