“Rise up this mornin’,
smiled with the rising sun,
three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep,
Singing sweet songs,
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, This is my message to you-ou-ou”
Every time I hear Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, I can’t help but smile, even if I’m in a foul mood. “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing’s gonna be alright…” As I listen to the reggae beat, I think “Yeah, Bob… It is, isn’t it?”
I swear by the happiness-inducing powers of Splendid Table podcasts, pilates classes, and just-mailed Bon Appetit magazines. If I need a dose of slightly off-color dinner table humor, my goofy brother Greg is always good for a laugh.
We all need an assortment of pick-me-up-stop-moping-around activities.
One lousy day last week, I didn’t smile with the rising sun. My birds evidently weren’t the ones Bob Marley sang about. They were grumpy birds; feel sorry for yourself birds. In Alexander’s words, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
So, first I moped. Then, my stomach started to growl. I thought back to one of my favorite childhood feel-better foods, tomato soup. Tomato soup reminds me of being a kid, reading Matilda at the dinner table while dipping the corner of a grilled cheese sandwich into my bowl. It’s relatively impossible to feel down for long when your belly is filled to the brim with gooey cheese and hot soup.
Of course, my tastes have advanced from the old standby soup from a can. So…
I pull the last batch of tomatoes from the vines, and start chopping. My mood moves from foul to semi-tolerable. After chopping an exorbitant amount of garlic, I can’t help but feel optimistic. A few glugs of olive oil and the sound of sizzling onion elevate my mood status even further. Upon breaking out the immersion blender and whizzing together my sauteed onions, garlic, and fresh herbs, I daresay I felt pleasant.
I dip a corner of seeded whole grain bread into my soup. You’re right, my Rastafarian friend. Every little thing is going to be alright after all.
- 2 pounds ripe, in-season tomatoes, chopped (about 5 cups)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme (about 6 sprigs), leaves picked and chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh oregano, leaves picked and finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Kosher salt to taste
- Basil leaves to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and saute for about 6 minutes until soft. Add the thyme, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Saute for an additional minute.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Saute, stirring often for about 10 minutes, allowing some of the moisture to cook down.
- Add 2 cups of the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Blend together with an immersion blender, or allow soup to cool slightly before blending in a standing blender.* Add additional broth if needed to reach the desired consistency. Garnish with torn basil.
•Only fill the container up halfway, and start at the lowest speed.
•Place a kitchen towel over top of the lid, and hold it down while you are blending
Ah, I really need a comfort food during these fight-off-the-virus days. This looks delicious.
I was happy to see your onions, freshly dug up from the earth. They must’ve come from your garden. Lovely.
I need a garden. Just look at those tomatoes.
Sure wish I could have smelled this little potage cooking.
I can just picture you reading a book while eating tomato soup–the kind out of a can. I did the same thing growing up. Wish I had some tomatoes to pick so I could make this. Guess I could buy some but they are rarely as good.
Auntie Karen says
Somehow just reading this little piece of your life and imagining the simmering scent of herbs & garlic brightened my not-so-happy day too! I think I can actually now hear those three birds now :)) Beautiful as always you are Jen. Cook on!!!
Maria Guest says
It’s the perfect weather for some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich! I can’t wait to try homemade instead of the canned version…..mm, mm good!!
Go mom! Do it up!
Excellent timing! Was thinking soup sounded good today & this recipe sounds perfect.
I’ll also mention how perfect my thrift store immersion blender will be to blend this. Best $3 I ever spent!!
Wow, $3?!? I love buying used kitchen treasures. I bought a stainless steel and maple butcher block/kitchen cart for $30 once from craig’s list. The whole time I was thinking “I better get out of here before he changes his mind!”.
Wow that looks so delicious! I will definitely cook this up once the weather gets colder. Looks perfect!
Andrea at Nummy Kitchen says
What a beautiful post and a delicious looking bowl of cozy soup. I just adore this song, I always think I should program it to be my morning alarm. Thanks for a smile.
There is nothing better than homemade tomato soup! It would definitely brighten up any of my days!
I am drooling. Just found this blog right now. Definitely coming back to get these into my kitchen.
Do you happen to know the calories in them?
Joe, esquire says
I haven’t a good experience with tomato soup but then I’ve never made it myself. This looks really good. I’ll have to try it out. Thanks!
Shannon @ bakeandbloom.com says
Lovely beautiful honest food. I can’t wait to make this when my tomato plants grow up.
Lovely jenny, as always
Heather Jacobsen says
One of my favorite songs in the whole wide world. Probably one of my favorite soups, too!
Heather Jacobsen says
Funny – I see that I commented on this before, but I just have to add that its also one of my son’s favorite songs, and we all sing it together often. And also, I was just looking for a tomato soup last week, remembering one I had seen that sounded so good…. and now here it is again.
Found this on Pinterest on a sort of crappy day… My boyfriend left again for training in the marine corps, and his favorite just happens to be tomato soup! So I chose this recipe to practice for when he comes home! It turned out awesome! Thank you so much!