Four letter words................

Cold. Snow. Soup.

Yep .............. I volunteered to do a soup class today. In the cold. In the snow. In Iowa. In October.

Seriously, WTF????

The Freight House Farmer's market was having a soup contest. They asked if I would do a soup demo and I quickly agreed. Actually, I think I volunteered to do a soup demo. Silly girl.

I knew it could be cold. And it met my expectations! Around 26-28 degrees this morning. Really, WTF???? (Can you tell? I'm having issues with this weather!!!)

So I'm fairly warmly dressed........ but I can't cook dressed in a parka. And chopping onions does not work in mittens! (Reality check .... I had run the celery and the onions through the food processor before we left because I can barely type when my hands are cold. Let alone use sharp objects and slippery veggies!!)

But then .... I am standing, talking ... to my six member audience! (Thank you for coming. More importantly, thank you for staying!!) One of my friends walks by and says, "Cathy.. it's snowing! I saw a flake!)

I thought to myself ... yea, there could be a flake or two at the market. ;)

No ..... it started snowing like crazy!! We didn't have summer .... now, we aren't having fall!!

It was so cold .... I couldn't get the butter to melt in the stock pot when my burner was on high. I held on to the pot, hoping my hands would warm up. Who needed pot holders when it is 30 degrees?????

So for everyone that was smart enough to stay home under the blanket rather than venturing out in our first snow of the season............. here is my tomato soup recipe.

Old-fashioned Tomato soup ……
½ medium onion, chopped 2 stalks of celery, chopped 1 stick of butter or ½ cup of olive oil ½ c all-purpose flour 2 quarts of tomatoes…….chopped with the juice (maybe just a bit more than 2 qts) cream, half-half, milk or fat-free evaporated milk ……to finish it off.

Saute’ the onion and the celery in the fat until soft. Remove from the burner and add the flour, making a roux. Slowly add the tomatoes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to release the juices. Stir until thicken. Add a little cream to add a richness to it.

Season throughout the cooking time with your favorite herbs, salt and pepper. Use this as a base for a heartier meal by adding more veggies, meats such as bacon, sausage, or left-over grilled chicken. Top it with croutons, cheese, and freshly chopped herbs.

The biggest thing to realize when cooking with home-canned/local/fresh products..... there are no recipes. Just a loosely written guidelines. The tomato soup may take a few more tomatoes. It did today .... when I got home, I added another pint of tomatoes and 1/2 pint of juice that was left in the fridge. Be flexible. It's not rocket science.

Don't cook ......... create. And stay warm!!!


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