Oh yes, warm yourself up! This past week has been cold and wet in Arizona; my husband says it reminds him of winter in the south of Peru, where he comes from. I have heard some of my fellow Tucsonans saying that it has been a bad winter, which surprised me. I grew up in Chicago before I went to live in the Pacific Islands, and I am no stranger to icy roads and blizzards. Nevertheless, I prefer rain to snow.
Be that as it may, it can be cold without snow, and whether you are in your kitchen like me or cooking over a gas stove after a storm-related power outage, you can make a tomato soup that is so much better than canned soup that it will surprise you. Tomato soup can be the perfect accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches, or you can garnish it with sour cream and avocadoes, or you can eat it with crackers or chips. This dish is so good that you won't run out of ideas no matter how many times you make it.
The tang of tomato soup goes well with a sandwich as well, so why not stop over at Sprouts' bakery and get some sourdough bread and their deli sandwich meat and fix sandwiches to go with the soup. There you go--dinner is served.
And I found a recipe for a tomato soup that is truly out of the ordinary, so here it is.
HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA-POTATO SOUP
2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
Place potatoes, broth, paprikas, celery seeds, and salt in 4-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine everything.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir to break up the potatoes into the broth for a slightly chunky consistency.
Add the dill, nutmeg, and freshly ground black pepper (to taste). Stir in the milk. Cover and cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until heated through.
Needless to say, this soup can be put together and stored overnight in your slow cooker's pot, and then put on to cook all day while you are at work. And if you feel kindly towards some lucky friend or co-worker, you can invite them for a dinner that they will remember.