I could have gone the easy route and just mixed water, milk and tomato paste together with a dash of onion powder and pepper, but I knew that would have made me feel like I cheated myself out of dinner. Besides, I had a carrot and some celery that needed to be eaten. I knew I was going to make tomato soup before I left work and mentioned my intentions to a couple people who asked "What? No meat?" to which I had to respond, "Well, I don't have any thawed so I was going to open a can of tuna to make a sandwich out of on the side..." My response was met with a ball jar of caught and freshly canned tuna, which I was assured (I had a concerned look on my face apparently) would taste much better then it looks: "It looks the same in the can, you just don't see it."
At home I gather all my ingredients together and figure out a plan of action. I am not a big tomato person so I rarely have fresh tomatoes on hand, but tonight that is OK, I'll use a can of diced tomatoes which will simplify things by eliminating the tomato-skin peeling step. I only have about 1/3 cup of chicken broth left so I will have to use water for the remaining liquid and I am also out of fresh herbs but I do have quite the arsenal of dried herbs and spices. Maybe I should look into starting a little herb garden this weekend...
Focus! OK I have all my ingredients ready to go and I start the process by chopping up the rest of my onion, carrot and celery. I toss the onion in with some vegetable oil and minced garlic. Once the onion and garlic are fragrant I add the celery and carrot and allow them to cook gently until tender.
I got the blender so I could make cold creations but decided to bite the bullet and get over my fear. I have to admit though, my hands were slightly shaky as I started the blender up. I had it on puree and everything went smoothly without searing hot soup raining from my ceiling. Getting more confident I upped the setting to liquefy and let that go until the chunks were almost all gone but the soup was still thick.
I poured the mixture back into the pan with about 1/4 cup of cream and put the burner on low to keep the soup warm while I turned my attention to making my tuna cheddar quesadillas. These are easy to do. Corn tortillas on the griddle with a mix of cheddar and jack cheese layered with dry tuna. I wanted to add cilantro, but was all out... added cilantro to my shopping list...
Everything smells so good! I am ready to eat and settle down with a nice big glass of milk, my soup and quesadillas and relax. The soup is hearty with a nice bright carrot/tomato flavor to it and is rounded out with the tangy Worcestershire and spicy Tapatio. Although this is a basic dinner, everything works well together and in the end I'm satisfied and warmed from the inside out. There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm the soul and bring a little sunshine to an otherwise grey day.
I have about half the soup left so I'll be enjoying that tonight with some crispy chicken or a green salad. Next time I will let the soup cook for a full half-hour to really soften the carrots and while I will still blend it, I'll leave it more chunky and reduce it down a bit more at the end. All in all, a very nice dinner. :)