When we sit down for a bowl of our favorite tomato soup we know we are in for a moment of pleasure. We never tire of tomato soup at our house.
Kathleen’s friend, Betty Johnston, from Tennessee gave her the original recipe more than 20 years ago.
We’ve gone back to this soup on occasion through the years but recently, along with a suitable side dish, it fills out the need almost daily for one of three healthful meals.
This morning it was time to make a fresh two-or-three-day supply, and I was pressed into service as a greenhorn chef. All my family and friends know that cooking has never been my thing.
I was not totally new to the procedure, however, because for some time I have chopped up the cabbage out of consideration for Kathleen’s right shoulder. Replacement surgery a few years ago helped her greatly, but she has to be careful.
This morning’s activity was nevertheless a huge step forward for me. It was my first time to make the soup from start to finish. That is, to wash, chop, assemble, cook and store.
Kathleen supervised every step closely and here is the sequence I followed:
1. Get out the big pot that holds several quarts of liquid.
2. Lay out on the counter the chopping board, then the freshly washed cabbage, several stalks of celery and three or four onions. Also have at hand two cans of Aylmers tomatoes (labeled no salt, and prepared with Italian spices). And don’t forget the hot sauce to add the zing
3. With Kay looking on I chopped the cabbage until the results nearly filled the cooking pot. I then chopped and added the celery and tear-jerking onions.
4. After adding several cups of water I carried the pot to the stove and cooked the vegetables until the cabbage was limp. Then I added the two cans of tomatoes and several squirts of the hot sauce and mixed it all well and let it cook.
5. The final step was to let the mixture cool and then puree the results about half a quart at a time in the blender, pouring the results into containers to store in the refrigerator.
Here’s how this delicious soup fits into our daily menu: After a nutritious smoothie for breakfast and a noon meal of meat, vegetables, salad, and dessert, for our evening repast this soup comes into play. We usually add a protein, like a cheese sandwich or poached egg.
In troubled times such as ours you may ask who should care about matters so mundane as recipes and food cooking procedures? Especially about so modest a dish as tomato soup.
My mind turns toward the end of the 23rd Psalm where the author addresses this line to the Divine Shepherd: “You prepare a table before me …” even when my life may be in danger.
Every repast reminds us that this Shepherd God we serve is all-provident and deserves our heart’s gratitude even for a humble dish of tomato soup.
Photo credit: Erik Forsberg (via flickr.com)