I was cruising the internet a few weeks ago when I came across a great idea — Soup Swap. You get a group of friends, colleagues, strangers, etc. together and everyone brings 4 quart-sized containers of a great soup. Then there is swapping! Everyone goes home with new and exciting soups to stick in the freezer for later, or if you’re like me, pig out on meal after meal. I immediately emailed a good friend known for her party-hosting prowess and the event was on!
Just to give you an idea of the diversity possible here, we set some parameters based on food sensitivities and preferences, and some of the soups I enjoyed were a delicious vegetarian chunky potato, a tasty chicken black bean tortilla with crispy tortilla chips for topping, and a warming carrot coconut curry. Is your mouth watering yet? Are you jealous of the soup bounty? I can’t wait to do this again once the garden is producing something besides carrots and turnips. One of our absolute favorite soups is Summer Vegetable Borscht, made with fresh beets and any summer veggies you have lying around. In season I try to stuff as much of that into the freezer as I can, but we always seem to run out by October. Another summer soup we can’t live without is Hot Cucumber and Potato, which sounds weird, but is soooo lovely and simple. It was also the last thing I ate before producing the HoneyBea, so it can fuel some serious exertion, too. I will be sure to share recipes as the season progresses.
For the Soup Swap I brought another favorite — Good Old Fashioned Tomato. It’s hard to go wrong with a good bowl of homemade tomato soup. Dip a grilled cheese or a peanut butter sandwich in it, or as shown here, serve it to a toddler along with a black bean burrito. Instant meal and instant success. You can see, HoneyBea is a BIG fan.
I’ve gotten great feedback from the tomato soup recipients as well, all of whom are accomplished soupers in their own right. So here’s the recipe. Be warned, this makes enough for a Soup Swap, right at a gallon. Another way to look at that is Rejoice, it makes a GALLON! This soup freezes beautifully, is easy to make in LARGE quantities, and can be turned into a lovely bisque with the addition of heavy cream before serving.
Good Old Fashioned Tomato Soup
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup flour
2 medium onions, coarse chop
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3 cubes veggie bouillon* (or equivalent strong broth, see water amounts below)
1 small can tomato paste
3 28 oz cans tomato (I have since revised this to 3 boxes of Pomi, for a no BPA option, just add an extra cup water)
4 cups water (5 if using pomi, to maintain the gallon volume)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Start by making a nice thick roux with the butter and flour. Add the chopped onions and stir frequently until those go a little glassy. The longer you can cook the onions, the richer the flavor, but don’t be a hero. Add tomato paste, brown sugar and allspice. This is your soup base. If you are short on time and need to do this in two stages, here’s a great stopping point. This base can keep in the fridge for up to a week. To finish the soup, add veggie bouillon and water, stir until dissolved and add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then process with a stick blender or in the food processor until all the soup is the desired consistency. Voila. Nothing hard about it. Fire up the griddle, make a stack of grilled cheese, and eat yourself stupid.
*I absolutely love and depend on Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt and Herb bouillon for so many recipes. Whole Foods carries it, but they are often out, so I just have a 6 pack shipped to me every 3 months from Amazon. Although, in looking just now, they appear to be out of stock. Sigh.
So, who’s up for another Soup Swap?