Sometimes I wish I was more like Eleanor and her friends, women who, by all accounts, gave no care as to what anyone else thought.
Eleanor's best friend, my Aunt Margie, once made a lasagna for a dinner party. It's worth noting here that there was nothing Eleanor feared more than making a lasagna. She talked so much about how difficult it is that my mom STILL has never tried to make one out of fear she'd do it wrong. Anyway, Margie's friends had gathered around the table, everyone was anxiously awaiting the lasagna, and as she pulled it out of the oven, bubbly and steaming...
She flipped over the serving dish and the entire thing landed face-down on the kitchen floor. What did she do, you ask? She scraped it up and served it anyway, with the rationale that what her guests didn't know wouldn't kill 'em.*
Anyway, none of her friends died or got food poisoning, so clearly she was right. But the point is this: Eleanor and Margie didn't care what people thought. They did what they wanted, and maybe part of that is the luxury of age, but I think a lot of it was just their personalities. I, however, did not inherit this trait.
Note: This is not a recipe for tomato soup. It is, instead, a recipe for how to dress up pre-existing tomato soup. So to start with, procure yourself some soup.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for this meal, which is basically just slightly fancy tomato soup. I was going to make the soup from scratch, but as you will soon see, that was not in the cards. We were out of fabric softener, so I headed to that aisle first and put the cheapest bottle in my basket. It happened to also be the biggest bottle, at nearly a gallon. I continued my shopping in peace until suddenly I heard what can only be described as a gushing sound coming from the vicinity of my elbow. Alarmed, I looked down to see that the fabric softener had tipped over, the lid had come off, and the bottle was gushing all over the tile floor of Tesco.
Now, in case you don't use fabric softener because you have a dryer and don't need the extra softening power, let me tell you something about it: it pretty much has the texture of liquid soap. So, after nearly wiping out in the mess I had just made, I had to go find a Tesco employee to come clean up the mess before someone died. But it happened to be the morning, so Tesco was full of nothing but running children and older people with canes. (Thankfully, Britain is less litigious than the States). Anyway, I made a giant mess, all of my groceries were so covered in goo that I couldn't even purchase any of them, and I was so embarrassed I ended up just grabbing a bottle of rum (for a recipe, I swear!) and a can of tomato soup and getting the heck out of there.
But now I have to find a new grocery store since I can never show my face there ever again, and I didn't want to brave another grocery that same day since my cheeks were still red, so I used canned tomato soup for this recipe and just dressed it up from there. It was still delicious, so no complaints here, but if you have the time, try making this recipe with homemade tomato soup. My favourite (and the one I was going to use) is here. Just leave out the cheese and tortellini and replace it with the ingredients listed here.
*Another reason I wish I was more like Eleanor and her friends is that I wish my kitchen floor was always... sometimes... even occasionally clean enough that I would eat from it, never mind my poor friends.
Send me your good wishes on finding another grocery store with such a great selection of marshmallows and weird 1950s-style ingredients, friends. I'm so humiliated that I don't think I can ever leave my flat again.
3 spoons out of 5, just because it's so easy it really shouldn't count as a recipe to begin with. As stated, I made this recipe with a can of Heinz tomato soup and dressed it up from there. I couldn't find the brand-name noodles the recipe calls for to put on it, so we had it with prawn crackers (which I got from the Asian grocery since I couldn't bear to go back to Tesco). If you have those wonton-type noodles that come with Chinese takeout on hand, I think those would be excellent, but no one is going to tell if you just use Saltines. Made with a can of soup it's literally the easiest thing ever. Made from scratch takes a bit longer, but homemade tomato soup is so good I think it's probably worth it.
Saucy Tomato Soup
Tomato Soup-- from a can or your favourite recipe
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pepper, black or red
Prawn crackers or fried wontons
Heat tomato soup thoroughly.
Stir in soy sauce, lemon juice, and pepper.
Ladle generously into bowls and top with prawn crackers or fried wontons.