I am an oxymoron.
Or maybe I just have split personalities. Whatever the case may be, there are some contradictory things happening in my head, and even I don’t fully understand why.
Let me give you an example.
I don’t do clutter well. It makes me uncomfortable in a break out in hives and claw off the first layer of skin type way. This is why you won’t find personal pictures resting on tables in my home or anything for that matter, aside from our laptops, dinner or an occasional and well placed cook book.
I don’t buy trinkets on vacation, I avoid craft shows like the plague, and my kitchen junk drawer is neatly arranged. In fact, the odds of it ever overflowing are never because I go through and happily purge a few times year. Clearing off counters and getting rid of stuff gives me the warm fuzzies.
To be fair, my home is not completely sterile either. Ten plus houseplants, one hubby and two cats guards against that. For me though, the absence of too much stuff is exactly what makes it cozy and inviting. Grandma’s multicolored afghan doesn’t hurt either.
Oddly enough, when it comes to food, I am the exact opposite and I don’t know why. I cannot be without, and I always want at least one back up on hand. Getting down to a solo can, jar, or pantry item makes me extra twitchy, and I have to replenish it; fast, even if there are no future plans to use.
Last summer, Kirsten came to my home and taught me how to can tomatoes. We drank beer, ate pizza and did our thing in the kitchen. The net product of our boozy efforts was a dozen or so quart jars of tomatoes, which have sat idly on a shelf in my Lazy Susan ever since. I’ve been reluctant to use them because I can’t replace them right now. Yet, the whole point of canning is to be able to enjoy summers bounty in the dead of winter. It’s a predicament to be sure.
With the hubby’s gentle prodding, although it feels more like a whip being cracked on my backside, I have been working my way through our freezer supplies and pantry goodies, including those same canned tomatoes.
Case in point: I made soup.
Tomato Basil Soup to be exact.
I even stuffed it full of hidden veggies and snuck in some Greek yogurt because that’s how I roll. This soup is simple. It’s satisfying and it’s delicious. It’s chock full of nutrient dense goodness and pairs perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich, buttery croutons or even a spoonful of my Savory Parmesan Rosemary Granola. It’s everything you need on a cold winter day, especially when you’re seeking solace in food form, and since it’s so healthy, you get to go back for seconds.
It’s also worth working through my neurosis and using up my stockpiled tomatoes. While I won’t admit this often, in this particular instance, the Hubby was right. Grumble, grumble.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced. Approximately 1 cup.
- 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped.
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced. Approximately 1 1/2 cups.
- 1/2 medium Cauliflower, chopped. Approximately 2 cups.
- 2 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
- 30 ounces of canned diced tomatoes.
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper.
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 Tbsp. dried Basil
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled (optional garnish).
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Basil, sliced into ribbons (optional garnish).
- Heat olive oil in a large deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more, stirring often.
- Add the carrots, the cauliflower, the stock, the tomatoes, all the seasonings and the honey. Bring it to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to simmer and let cook at least another thirty minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat, add one cup of Greek yogurt and cream the soup by using an immersion blender or by adding it to a stand up blender in batches.
- Add feta and fresh basil to individual bowls.
- The beauty of soup is you can taste it and tweak it to your liking. If it's too acidic, add more honey. If it's not zesty enough, add more seasonings. If it's too thick, add more yogurt.