This has definitely been a "soup" sort of week.
Not only have I been running in a thousand different directions with overtime work, classes and activities with my kids, but we've also had several nasty storms that have knocked down power lines and trees.
Fortunately we didn't lose electricity or trees at our house, though both my kids' school and the one where I teach were without for periods on Thursday and Friday, and this old tree down the street finally gave in to the winds...
OK, so...Soup, in my book, has to be quick and easy, or something that re-heats well. I'm not one for standing and stirring and simmering for hours...
First up is this stupidly simple "Tomato Macaroni" soup.
Some years back, I'm not too proud to admit, I had to make occasional visits to the neighborhood food-bank. One of the items we always received, not sure why, was several quarts of tomato juice. Maybe it was government surplus, just like the cheese?
Who knows. At any rate, at a loss for what to do with weekly quarts of tomato juice, I created this soup.
It's definitely nothing fancy, but it's quick, easy, cheap (obviously) and filling comfort food. As a bonus, my kids LOVE it and still ask for it often. Hey, tomato juice is actually good for you, you know? Lots of good stuff, including 21957 micrograms of lycopene in every 8 oz. and you KNOW that's good!
1 large onion, chopped fine and sauteed in a tsp of oil in the bottom of a stockpot
6 - 8 cups water
2 med. baking potatoes cut into smallish cubes
Bring the above to a boil.
Boil for 5 minutes and add:
1 cup elbow macaroni (you can use whole-grain pasta here)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pickling spices tied up in a cheesecloth or put in a teaball - yes, odd, but these MAKE the soup!
Cook the above at a good boil until potatoes are soft. Remove spice bag.
1 pint tomato juice, taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt or pepper if needed. Stir until heated and serve.
We sometimes add a swirl of soymilk to cool it down and make it creamy.
Next up, my "Quinoa Peanut Soup" (which I think I posted here before). I originally posted this over at Veggieboards.com, and I was pretty impressed when Nava Atlas asked if she could include it in her latest "Soups..." cookbook. Way cool!
Still one of our family favorites, I love that it re-heats so well. My littlest sprout loves the curly-Q "tails" that the quinoa grains leave in the soup and in typical 8-year-old style, she gets a morbid kick out of freaking out her classmates at school when she takes this soup in her thermos (they're not little worms, I swear, though you might want to warn unsuspecting people...).
If given the chance, he perches on the range hood, high ABOVE the bubbling, boiling, splattering pans... which scares me more than a little!!
We usually try to keep him far from the kitchen whenever we're actually cooking!! (Maybe it's the liquor bottles hiding in the cabinet that fascinate him, eh?)