Tomato Soup

Jun. 8th, 2012 04:43 pm
Summer in Western Mass can best be described as waking up one morning to discover a jungle has grown up around you. It's humid as hell and either blisteringly hot or thunder-storming, and for no logical reason, I love it. Thunder storms make me absolutely sure that I'm living in a movie and something really exciting is about to happen, and I prefer heat to cold by quite a lot.

Something about this apartment triples the humidity. Maybe it's because the building is old and warped. Maybe it's because we're mostly in the shade, surrounded by old maple trees. Maybe our upstairs neighbors run fog machines all the time; I'm not entirely sure. Whatever it is, the apartment has become a swamp. Our books are curling.

Cooking does nothing to help the situation. Combine our lack of counter space with the BF's love of soup, and I end up boiling something pretty much every day. Billows of steam rising off the stovetop compound what's already the swampiest part of the apartment: it's a schvitz. So I'm trying raw/low-cook recipes for a bit.

However, yesterday started out rainy and almost cool. Good tomato soup whether, the BF and I agreed. So I went to the grocery and got 4 tomatoes, a package of silken tofu, some basil, and some vegetable broth.
By the time I got home with these ingredients, however, the storm had burned off a little bit, and the temperature was roughly 80 degrees. In the apartment it was roughly 800.
So here's my low-cook recipe for tomato soup:

4 Tomatoes
1 pkg Silken Tofu
5 Basil Leaves, fresh
2 cups Vegetable Broth
Dried Thyme
Red Pepper Flakes

You'll also need a sharp knife, a cutting board, a sauce pan, and a blender.

Chop the tomatoes into roughly 4 pieces each
Put the tomatoes and silken tofu into the blender
Bring two cups of broth to a boil while you blend the tomatoes and tofu.
Once the broth is boiling, mix the tomatoes and tofu in, add some thyme and red pepper flakes to taste ( I used two pinches each, and it was slightly spicy)
Cover and let simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes
Chop about 5 basil leaves very fine, add to the saucepan, stir, and turn off flame

I ladled some into two bowls and drizzled about quarter a tsp of olive oil on each. It looks pretty and adds a nice flavor.
I am typing this with one arm, as the other has been claimed by Milo as a pillow. AND HE IS PURRING!!!! He and his brother, Patrick, had a very tiring Thursday, which ended up working out well, because they didn't raise hell while I was trying to cook for the seder. We had to take them back to the vet, so Patrick could get his booster shot and we could find out why Milo was eating out of his litter box. The vet was *remarkably* unhelpful, suggesting that we start feeding Milo "less digestible" food, so he can eat as much as he wants and not gain weight. Which is essentially like saying to a person "You've gained too much weight eating all those fruits and vegetables. Eat only cheetos from now on, and you'll lose weight!" I am dubious. Particularly as he recommend switching the cats to the food his office sells.

This coming week promises to be exciting: I have a job interview, finally! If I get the job, I'll be spending the summer in one of those little kiosks at the entrance of a park, selling tickets that say you are allowed to keep your car there, while you do park things. There are definitely worse ways to spend the summer.

Also, this will be the week of endless Jew food, since I may have over done the passover shopping a smidge. This was our first passover seder together, and my first vegan seder ever, so I panicked and bought ALL THE MATZO MEAL. I'm still tinkering with the recipe, but will post it at the end of the week. Also, I found a recipe for vegan gefilte fish! The texture wasn't exactly like my grandmother's, but, thanks to a generous sprinkling of kelp granules and dulse flakes, it did taste like fish.

Also, for National Poetry Month:

Call of the Wild

The heavy old man in his bed at night
Hears the Coyote singing
in the back meadow.
All the years he ranched and mined and logged.
A Catholic,
A native Californian.
and the Coyotes howl in his
Eightieth year.
He will call the Government
Who uses iron leg-traps on Coyotes,
My sons will lose this
Music they have just started
To love.

The ex acid-heads from the cities
Converted to Guru or Swami,
Do penance with shiny
Dopey eyes, and quit eating meat.
In the forests of North America,
The land of Coyote and Eagle,
They dream of India, of
forever blissful sexless highs.
And sleep in oil-heated
Geodesic domes, that
Were stuck like warts
in the woods.
And the Coyote singing
is shut away
for they fear
the call
of the wild.
And they sold their virgin cedar trees,
the tallest trees in miles,
To a logger
Who told them
”Trees are full of bugs.”

The Government finally decided
To wage the war all-out.
is Un-American.
And they took to the air,
Their women beside them
in bouffant hairdos
putting nail polish on the
gunship cannon-buttons.
And they never came down,
for they found,
the ground
is pro-Communist.
And dirty.
And the insects side with the Viet Cong.
So they bomb and they bomb
Day after day, across the planet
blinding sparrows
breaking the ear-drums of owls
splintering trunks of cherries
twining and looping
deer intestines
in the shaken, dusty, rocks.
All these Americans up in special cities in the sky
Dumping poisons and explosives
Across Asia first,
And next North America,
A war against earth.
When it’s done there’ll be
no place
A Coyote could hide.

I would like to say
Coyote is forever
Inside you.
But it’s not true.
-Gary Snyder



June 2012

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