Monday, April 7, 2008

Tomato Soup with Rice

I realized the other day that summer weather is FAST approaching. This is a bad thing in Los Angeles, as "summer" means temperatures in the 110-120 degree range and not the lovely 'slightly warmer than room temperature' thing that some other cities have going on. I guess its our penalty for not having to deal with snow on the ground for 6 months out of the year . . . but all the same I DREAD the coming of summer every year. Things I can count on come late May are a) all home stores being completely sold out of any sort of fan or air moving devices, b) perpetual sunburned shoulders despite the fact that in the summertime I wear SPF 30, face and body, as a DAILY product and c) near scurvy due to the impossibility of turning on any appliance that has the potential to cook food.

So as a last hurrah last night I decided to make a nice big batch of tomato soup with rice.

- 2 big (28oz) cans of diced tomatoes (either diced and then chopped up further with a pair of kitchen scissors, or 1 diced/1 crushed, or maybe 'petite diced' . . . smaller than garden variety diced tomatoes though would be preferable!)
- 1 regular sized can of tomato sauce
- 1/2 a can of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of flour
- about 1 cup of finely diced onions (3 itty bitty yellow ones)
- 1/2 a stick of butter (use less if you like, or use olive oil, but you're making a big batch of soup here and the butter really does make a huge impact)
- 3 big cans of water
- a corresponding amount of veggie stock powder / liquid / cubes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tblsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tblsp parsley flakes
- about 1 1/4 cups of dry brown rice (I use brown basmati)

* Get your onions and butter going in a deep stock pot
* When butter is melted, add tomato paste
* Add flour and cook for a few minutes (or, you know, waste time taking photos of your kitchen while tomato paste starts to burn, shriek and toss in diced tomatoes to stop burning then add a handful of flour after the fact. Either way, really)
* Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, stock, salt, pepper and parsley, bring to a boil
* Once soup is boiling, add rice and reduce to a simmer
* Simmer about 45 minutes uncovered, or until rice is cooked through

Serve topped with cheese of any sort. Makes 5 HUGE portions.

Listening:  Electric Soft Parade- "If Thats The Case Then I Don't Know"

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