The first time we had this soup, Betsy cooked while I was oot and aboot with interviews. Betsy told me it was really easy – “stupid,” she said – but it tasted gourmet. A couple nights ago, I told Betsy I was cooking – she could tell me what to do. Soup turned out well again.
Chapter 1: Garlic and Onion
Cut up an onion, then sautee it with minced garlic in a saucepan. The onion won’t break down in the soup; rather, you’ll have onion chunks floating around, so cut them up to the size you want. (If you don’t like onions or are allergic, skip the onions.) We used half an onion and about a teaspoon of minced garlic.
Chapter 2: Tomatoes
Cut up your tomatoes really small. We used two tomatoes, both about the size of my (rather small) fist. You can use any size or type of tomato (as far as I know), but you want about one fist’s-worth per person. The tomatoes need to be cut small enough that they’ll break down into broth – maybe quarter- to half-inch pieces.
Scrape the tomatoes into the saucepan. If you get all the tomato juice and pulp off the cutting board and into the pan, the cutting board will be easier to clean up. Sautee the tomatoes with the garlic and onion.
Chapter 3: Sauce and Seasonings
Add an 8-oz. can of tomato sauce, and as much garlic, salt, and pepper as you like. Every now and then, eat a spoonful of the soup and see if it tastes the way you like it. Add whatever amount of spices seem appropriate.
Chapter 4: Vegetables
Fresh spinach is good. Cut it up and toss it in. Basil is good, fresh or dried. Thyme is good, too. Oregano would have been good if we’d had it.
Chapter 5: Orzo
Orzo is kind of a scary name, but it’s just pasta, I promise you. It’s small and looks a little like rice but tastes just like spaghetti, and you can find it in the grocery store with the spaghetti.
When the tomatoes are broken down, add as much orzo as you think would be good in soup. I think we used about a cup.
Chapter 6: The Finishing Touches
Continue stirring the soup and tasting it every so often, adding seasonings when appropriate. When the orzo feels cooked and the soup tastes good, turn off the heat, pour into bowls, and eat.
But wait! There’s more!
Garlic bread is really good with tomato soup. Lay out your bread on a cookie sheet drizzle with olive oil, and add garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. Bake at 350 until toasted.