When I was a kid, I really, really, really liked playing in the snow. So much so, in fact, that it was often detrimental to my health. This post isn’t about the many, many times I came in soaking wet and half frozen to the point where it took twenty minutes and a blow dryer to get me back to normal, human temperatures. No, this post is about the most soul nourishing, warming, delightful soup in the world that my mom would feed me after lovingly drying me off over the heater vent.
When I was young this soup was typically consumed from a can. The can is probably copyrighted to high heaven, but you can see some lovely Warhol prints of it. My mom used to pop it open, add some water, and serve it with the yummiest, gooiest, most happy inducing grilled cheese sandwiches in the history of foodstuffs. Every time I dipped a delicious, golden triangle into my soup it was like dipping into a bowl of warm love. Of course I wanted to share this experience with Olive. There are only two problems: 1. It really isn’t snowing…at all. It may snow for a few hours, but then it stops, melts, and the tulips start to sprout. Lather, rinse, repeat. How am I supposed to teach Ollie the joy of getting yourself so cold you’re nearly dead, then warming up with a bowl of rich, hot, tomato-y goodness if it’s not going to stay cold? 2. The can, like many other things in life, has let me down, now that I’m an adult. The soup is highly, HIGHLY, processed and filled with such gems as high fructose corn syrup. I really can’t, in good conscience, feed that to my kid.
I can’t change the weather, but I can change the soup.
Better than Warhol Tomato Soup
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (soy or dairy are ok, too)
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp thyme
1 piece of whole wheat bread
1 cup spinach
1 bay leaf
3 lbs love
In medium sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden.
Add tomatoes, seasonings, and almond milk.
Yes, I fully understand how gross this looks. It will taste yummy soon, I promise.
Bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, measure a cup of spinach and add to blender.This is going to up the vitamin content of your soup. It’s not necessary, but it doesn’t hurt anything and it adds loads of good for you things. Add heated tomato mix and pulse to blend. Then comes the special part. Enter–sliced bread:
This seems weird, I know, but you are going to tear that bread into manageable chunks and add them to your blender. Why? Because that hunk of bread gives it this dreamy, creamy, perfect consistency. Blend until creamy and perfect. Pour back into your pan. Add the bay leaf and let simmer 15 (or more, if you want) minutes. Garnish with love.
Serve with whatever you like. For Olive and my lunch, the choice was very simple. We needed something nourishing, warming, and full of love. We needed the best winter lunch ever. We needed a sandwich. So we split one, and an apple.
In my house, the bay leaf was special. We added it to every single tomato dish, from soups to pasta sauce. Whoever got the bay leaf in their meal got to make a wish. Well, I got the bay leaf this time, but I put it in Olive’s bowl before I served her.