It snowed in Nashville today.
I don't know if you've ever been privy to a snowstorm in the South, but it ain't pretty.
It doesn't ever REALLY snow THAT much--a couple of inches, tops. Nothing that any Yankee would even think twice about. And it's not like we don't have The Weather Channel down here; I had heard things about snow a few days prior, but since snow is finicky down here, Southerners don't like to get their hopes up about it. We think nothing of winter storm warnings.
But when snow actually comes...
PEOPLE RUSH TO THE STORE IN A MAD FRENZY AND ACT LIKE THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR BEFORE AND SLIDE AROUND LIKE MANIACS AND HONK THEIR HORNS INCESSANTLY AND FORGET THEIR BRAINS!
Henceforth, it is quite irritating to get out on the roads during Tennessee snow. Thus, many people consider themselves "snowed in." And when people are snowed in, their body's gut reaction is to, naturally, go into starvation mode, which kicks up their appetite notch to ravenously hungry. And those displaced end up congregating in apartments and litter the floors with sleeping bags. And while those people are preparing their make-shift beds, they cast pleading eyes to those who hold the keys to the food kingdom.
Who, in my apartment, just happens to be me. Shock and awe!
I'm one of those people who buys extra things at the grocery store, justifying that it needs to be a pantry item for "a
Thank you for justifying my extraneous purchases with me. I feel validated now. Too bad my bank account doesn't.
So before all of these hungry people showed up in my apartment, I had a random thought as I was watching the snow fall.
"Oh...I have fire-roasted tomatoes in my pantry. They would make an excellent soup today."
And then I kept furiously typing a paper for my final.
And then hungry people showed up. And they wanted soup. So, for once, my pantry was FULLY STOCKED, and I was able to produce something tasty from my own, two hands.
It was fate.
And behold, as necessity is the mother of invention, this soup was born.
This is not yo' mama's tomato soup.
It's good for grilled-cheese dipping.
It warms your belly on a cold winter day, which is what soup does best.
Stay warm, America! It's freezing outside!
*Props to my wonderfully creative and talented friend, Caitlin Galo, who braved the 0 degree wind chill with me to snap some pictures of this soup with her beautiful Nikon.
Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup (serves 4-6)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 14oz cans chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley etc), finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½-1 cup heavy cream (depending on your texture preference)
In a 3-quart saucepan, saute onions over medium heat until tender, about three minutes. Add garlic and saute til fragrant (about one minute), making sure to stir constantly to prevent the garlic from burning.
Stir in tomatoes, stock, 1 tablespoon of the herbs (I used cilantro because I had it on hand--the results were magnificent!), sugar, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. When soup reaches a boil, cover and turn the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Take soup off the burner and allow to cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Pour the cooled soup into a blender; how much of the soup you blend depends on your texture preferences. Blend soup until desired consistency. Add the soup back to the saucepan and heat until desired temperature. Add cream and fresh herbs, and enjoy soup with grilled cheese or a crusty loaf of bread.
Adapted from Muir Glen