I remember as a little girl seeing for the first time my dad heating up a can of Campbell's tomato soup for his lunch. As he swirled in some milk, I approached him and wondered out loud, "WHAT are you doing, Dad?" flabbergasted by the sight of my father "cooking." As I recall, he got a bit defensive as he responded that he was making himself some lunch. I remember marveling to myself, "I didn't know Dad could do that!" I was totally impressed. As I got older, my Dad's greatness did not diminish in my eyes, but the reputation of Campbell's soup sure took a blow as I discovered that canned soup, in all its varieties, is just completely nasty. (I remember one of my Italian instructors in college describing her first taste of American canned soup as, "Mmm, mmmmm, Blech!") Luckily, I learned that homemade soup is simple enough for even the busiest moms and dads. I whipped up this creamy tomato soup the other night when we needed a side dish for our Swiss chard pie. It was pretty popular: I caught Sawyer taking a few spoonfuls without any parental coaxing.
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. soy-free Earth Balance (or another Tbsp. olive oil)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1-2 tsp. agave nectar, to taste
1 1/2 cups plain hemp milk*
1 cup water
1 scant Tbsp. chickpea miso
1 generous Tbsp. tahini
Heat the olive oil and Earth Balance in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until browned. Add the tomatoes, salt (starting with 1/4 tsp.), basil, thyme, and agave (starting with 1 tsp.) and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the hemp milk and water and simmer to heat through. Transfer the soup to a blender, add the miso and tahini, and puree until smooth. Taste and add additional salt or agave to taste.
*I have started making my own hemp milk since I got a huge 5lb tub of hemp seeds for super-cheap off Amazon.com. All you do is take 1 cup of hemp seeds and blend them for about a minute with 4 cups of water until the seeds are totally ground up. Then add a pinch of salt and 1 Tbsp. of sweetener. You don't even have to strain the milk, so you get all the nutrition of the hemp seeds. (If you have concerns about hemp seeds somehow getting you high, please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp_milk. The drug that is in marijuana is not in hemp seeds.) This milk is great for recipes, but a bit strong for my taste for drinking.
Sawyer is being a much more adventurous eater nowadays. His tastes are changing as he's growing up...but his love of cars is still unwavering.