My hair iced up on my five-block walk to work yesterday and my contact lens fluttered one blink away from freezing to my eyeball.
We’re veterans of Wisconsin’s January chill, but even we had to pause a minute last night (in front of our open oven door) to thaw out.
Safely home from work and school, we let the blood flow return to our icy hands and feet and planned a dinner menu from leftover scraps in the bread basket and forgotten cans in the Lazy Susan.
Our dwindling fresh herb supply posed a challenge, but no one wanted to leave our cozy kitchen and we weren’t cruel enough to force a delivery driver out into the sub-zero night.
Instead, we improvised and whipped up a tasty tomato soup with corn bread croutons that gave Molly a chance to use her immersion blender and me an opportunity once again to re-purpose some old food. I’m thrifty that way.
We tag teamed the meal preparation — I chopped the onions and garlic while Molly cut the crusts off bread slices and tore them into pieces. She sautéed the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions made her cry and I took over. She put together her immersion blender, while I added the tomatoes and dried spices — oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. She blended the soup, while I snuck in about 1/4 cup of red wine from a bottle that had been aerating a little too long.
While all that heated up, we went to work on the corn bread croutons in a similar fashion. She sliced the corn bread, I brushed them with olive oil and added our oregano/basil/salt/pepper seasoning mix.
The soup simmered on the stove, the croutons crisped in the oven, and we amused ourselves with the critical task of catching up on Downton Abbey.
We served the soup with the croutons, a little grated cheese and chopped parsley and we toasted a souper end to a super cold day!
Tomato Soup with corn bread croutons
2 cans whole tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Three slices bread — we used potato bread
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced corn bread
grated cheese and chopped parsley for garnish
Saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the herbs and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add torn up slices of bread (remove the crust). Blend with the immersion blender. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the corn bread and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bake in a 375 degree over for 10 minutes. Turn and crisp the other side.
Add remaining olive oil (and wine if you’d like) to the soup and blend one last time. Remove croutons from oven and break into pieces. Serve the soup with the croutons, grated cheese and parsley.