Ok speaking of tomatoes…(because we were speaking of tomatoes weren’t we?) I am so excited to share with you some news I’ve been waiting for all summer while we grilled burgers outside at 10pm because we just got in and the sun hadn’t set yet. I love those days. I do. And I love burgers, what girl doesn’t? But as the summer winds down and the days get shorter the one thing that keeps me from whining like a little girl who wants to stay up past her bedtime is this: longer nights divided by more Cowboy time in the kitchen = rich, hearty food that tastes like heaven…which results in a little something to take the edge off the cooler weather and inevitable winter…oh, and a little extra padding on my rear-end to help keep me warm.
Yes, cream and butter and hearty seasonings have blown back into my life with the autumn wind and I’m in the market for bigger stretchy pants because, you guessed it…
Cowboy’s cute butt is back in the kitchen…
And here he is, with his favorite ingredient: heavy whipping cream
and this time he’s outdone himself.
Now, I don’t like to push the man. Really I don’t. He has been busy this summer working on getting our new house squared away, building me picture frames, chasing cows around, fixing things I’ve recently broken, and, you know, working. So I haven’t asked him if he has any new recipes brewing up there under his hat. I haven’t mentioned to him that I am sstttaarrvvinng over here. No I haven’t. But this weekend as he watched his dearly beloved sob and stomp and whine and worry and nearly lose an eye as she tackled the age-old tradition of vegetable canning only to clean it all up, put her hands on her hips, reach for her goggles and declare that she was now going to attempt tomato soup…at 6 pm…I think he felt the need to run interference.
Because he must have been starving too…and he couldn’t wait until 3 am to enjoy his wife’s amateur tomato soup attempt.
So last Sunday Cowboy swooped in and rescued his maiden in fleece pants from her overzealous self by suggesting that perhaps he could try cooking tomato soup. That maybe he had an idea for a recipe. That possibly it would be good for her to find her camera and computer and do what she does best…document it.
And boy am I glad I did. Because the thing with Cowboy’s cooking is this: it’s all in his head, like a story or a song–if it’s not written down the melody might change a bit or the plot might thicken sooner the next time around.
So I gladly handed over the metaphorical apron, grabbed my camera and notebook and watched as the man I married whipped up a little piece of heaven right there on the very same table where I was nearly murdered by a jalapeno pepper. It was a beautiful thing and I know you’re going to love it….
and I am only just a little jealous of the ease at which this man tackles life…and soup.
So grab your favorite autumn brew and those pesky tomatoes…and then grab a few more because you’re going to want to make a double batch of this stuff:
Cowboy Cooks Garden Tomato Soup
Ok, here’s what you need, gathered and deliberately documented by following Cowboy around the kitchen using the journalist skills I acquired in college, and that cute little reporter hat, pen and paper pad.
- 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup, or 3 medium garden carrots (use more if you wanna)
- 1/4 large purple onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic (I have to tell you, I was looking everywhere in this tiny kitchen for fresh garlic when I was making my salsa. I whined and dug and threw things around. Cowboy mentions he would like some garlic and it just magically appeared in the cupboard. This is my life. I get a mess, Cowboy gets a magic cupboard…anyway moving on)
- 1 12 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp dill weed (haha, dill weed)
- 1 Tbsp basil (fresh would be best, but I forgot to plant basil, so dried tastes great too)
- 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro (or dried will work too)
- 1 tsp rosemary (we had a little rosemary debate, you know, now that I am an expert. I didn’t win. But if the little rosemary seed floaters annoy you like they annoy me, just put in a 1/2 tsp)
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (heaping) tsp chopped chives
- 4 bouillon cubes
- 1 stick butter (or 8 Tbsp if it makes you feel better)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (get your cream out of the fridge before use and set it on the counter for a bit. This way, when you add it to the hot soup it will blend well.)
Step 1: Call your Pops who is home alone to invite him for supper. I mean, he was kind enough to grow these tomatoes (and carrots) for you.
Step 2: Serve you and your cook an Autumn Ale, you know, to keep with the mood of the season.
Step 3: Sharpen your knives.
In Cowboy’s kitchen, this is the step that takes the longest. I mean, he has a knife briefcase.
And in that knife briefcase lives this mamajamma.
I know this looks weird, but Cowboy tests the sharpness of his knives by attempting to shave the hair off his knuckles…just like John Wayne or something, I dunno.
I think I said something like “Holy Shit!”
Step 3: Chop and simmer the veggies
- Dice three cups worth of garden tomatoes
and put those babies in large a pot to simmer on low while you prep the other veggies
- Dice three garden carrots. Look at these heavenly creatures!
I especially like this one. Pops said he was holding the rest of the carrots together when he found him.
What a nice little carrot. I liked him so much I ate him.
Ok, yeah, anyway, dice about one cup worth of carrots.
- Now dice up 1/4 of that large, purple onion…
..sniff, sniff..please don’t cry.
- Add the onions and carrots to the pot with the tomatoes
- And pour in the tomato sauce
While the veggies and sauce simmer on low, move on to
Step 4: The seasoning
First, plop in the butter
Yup. The whole stick…or if you’d like, just 8 tablespoons.
Now, in no particular order add the seasonings to the pot, tasting and testing as you go to make sure you just love it.
1 bay leaf
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dill weed
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro
1 tsp rosemary
Ground black pepper to taste
1 (heaping) tsp chopped chives
4 bouillon cubes
Now let the concoction simmer this way on low for a bit. Have some more brew. Set your table. Read Cowboy magazine, whatever. You must cook this all up, letting the flavors blend and allowing the onions and carrots to cook.
About 30 minutes.
Step 5: The best part
Need I say more?
Once the veggies are nice and cooked, measure yourself out a heaping cup of your room temperature heavy whipping cream and slowly stir it into the soup.
Now say “mmmm….mmmmm….mmmmm….” while Campbells sobs silently to himself…
Let warm for a few minutes and…well…what you will have there people is some damn good tomater soup.
So waste no time…
Step 6: Serve it up!
If you want, make yourself a grilled cheese to go with it.
But honestly, you won’t want to touch that stupid sandwich. My photos in the dim lighting of my home do not do it justice.
All you will want is this soup.