Friday, April 1, 2011

Ah, Comfort Soup

by Lucy Arlington

What a long winter it’s been! And it seems that the weather just can’t seem to decide to let spring arrive. My family and friends in Ontario feel as if the snow falling from the sky is never-ending. Friends in Virginia are teased with spring-like weather only to be assailed with another storm. They’ve even been building snowmen in California!

I’m currently living in Bermuda, so when I comment on our cold winter, those same friends and family members roll their eyes. “You live in paradise,” they say. “Stop complaining.” I don’t complain, really, because I do appreciate the fact that we haven’t had to shovel snow or pile on the heavy coats and boots this winter. And we were gifted frequently enough with a warm, sunny day during the winter months.

But the reality is that Bermuda is only semi-tropical, and unlike the Caribbean islands that stay warm most of the winter, we get rain, wind, and cool temperatures during that season. And without central heating, the main source of cold is our house. Built for hot summers, the thick limestone walls and ceramic floors keep that cool dampness inside, making it feel much colder than it should be.

We put up with it, knowing that soon the hot Bermuda days will be the norm (today is the first of April after all!), but until then, we wear sweaters and eat comfort food to stay warm. What better comfort food than a warm soup, with chunks of tasty goodness in every spoonful. This soup has been a family favorite for years. I hope you enjoy it, too.

CHUNKY TOMATO POTATO SOUP

2 tbsp butter

2 onions, chopped

4 cups peeled cubed potatoes

1½ cups chopped celery

1½ cups chopped carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp corn starch

2 cups milk

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1¼ cups chicken broth

2 tbsp tomato paste

½ cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onions and cook over medium heat until tender. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, garlic and seasoning and cook for 4-5 minutes.

2. Stir in cornstarch. Add milk, cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Add tomatoes, broth and paste. Return to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked. Add fresh basil. Season to taste.

9 comments:

Aurian said...

I love soup, my boyfriend makes a very tasty vegetable soup with meatballs. Perfect to get some out of the freezer when feeling down or cold.
Spring is hiding here again, today it is overcast, but tomorrow they are predicting very beautiful weather, up to 22 degrees! Which means lots of sun. Unless that is an april first joke?

Heather Webber said...

Mmm! Love comfort soup, and this recipe sounds delicious!

Oh, and I'm completely jealous that you love in Bermuda. Just sayin'.

Dru said...

There's nothing like a bowl of soup to keep the chills at bay.

ev said...

It's snowing here. Again.

Our daughter called from LA last night around 7pm her time- she was outside grilling and getting ready to jump in the pool as it was in the 90's.

Sometimes I hate my child.

Cozy in Texas said...

I made a big pot of soup today too, but the burst of cold weather seems to have past and it was 85 today.
Ann

Vickie said...

Oh YUM! Thank you for posting this recipe.

I guess my image of Bermuda being warm all the time is like the image most of people have of Alaska being cold and snow driven all the time.

Griperang/Angela said...

I get the same thing. I live in Florida and when we have days where it gets down in the 30s or 40s they say that is not cold. I am from the North and that is cold no matter what state you are in.

LORI said...

I would take a cold Bermuda day over a cold Michigan day any day! I love to make chili or Mexican chicken soup to warm up my cold days.

signlady217 said...

I love soups/chili all year round, no matter what the weather or temperature is.

And for the record, I detest cold weather!