Today I needed to both eat and get out of the house for a little while, so I decided to go to the grocery store. It is that wonderful time of year when tomatoes actually taste good and do not cost quite so much. This brought me to the conclusion that today would be a good day for some homemade tomato soup. So, I bought 1.5kg tomatoes (Tomaten), some Kräuterbrot (herbed bread), milk (Milch), salt (Salz), Lettuce (Salat) and a cucumber (Gurke) for the low price of $4.14Euro. This seems pretty reasonable to me. I do love that produce here is so much cheaper than in the United States – with the very notable exceptions of road-side stands, Amish communities, and some farmers’ markets. This makes it much easier to prepare healthy meals without breaking the budget. Plus, one of the workers opened a second lane and I did not have to wait so long which was nice because sometimes in Netto they let the line get far too long and one ends up waiting foreverrrrrr to check out.
I am glad that I made this choice because I think that the soup came out fantastically. I adapted it from this one on Allrecipes.com.
The recipe, with modifications, is as followed:
3 pounds tomatoes
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 small onions
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp thyme
¼ cup fresh basil
8 cups water
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter
Salt, pepper to taste (I like a lot)
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1. In a large soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in the oil until soft and clear – approximately 5 minutes
2. Chop tomatoes in half and remove the green part (this part is where chemicals can concentrate)
3. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic
4. Add water, thyme, cayenne, and sugar.
5. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft and the flesh and skin separate very easily.
6. Remove from the heat and add the basil.
7. Using a stick blender or a traditional blender, puree the soup.
8. Heat a small fry pan over medium heat and add butter. When the butter is completely melted, add the flour and stir until there are no longer any lumps. Cook for approximately 3 minutes.
9. Add the milk and powdered garlic to the flour/butter mixture and whisk well making sure to remove all lumps.
10. Mix the milk/flour/butter mixture into the large soup pot – stirring well and ensuring that everything is heated through. 11. Season with salt and pepper and ENJOY!
I also made some banana muffins because like many small children, my guy has a complete aversion to bananas that have a few brown spots. As we (I) are trying to reduce the amount of food waste we produce, this was like killing three birds with one stone because we also need to save money and I like sending my guy to work with a little something to eat. However, now I am wishing that I would have bought different bread today, so that I could make him some sandwiches for tomorrow because he is working two jobs this week – one for the Tischlerei (joinery) and a private one for his firm (http://www.mt-lischinski.de/). If it ever stops down-pouring I may go back out because I bought cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce today so the sandwiches could even be a little fancy.
Here is the recipe for the banana muffins. The recipe makes 12 large muffins.
¼ cup oil
¼ cup yogurt (I used low-fat strawberry)
1 cup white sugar
2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup AP flour
½ tsp vanilla
Lipid to grease the pan
1. Preheat the oven to 175⁰C and grease the muffin tin.
2. In a medium-large mixing bowl cream the oil, yogurt and sugar.
3. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until very light and fluffy.
4. With the exception of the bananas, add the remaining ingredients and lightly beat.
5. Slice the bananas directly into the bowl and mash with a wooden spoon or a potato masher.
6. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
I have also taken this time to modify my plans for sowing cool-season crops.
5 types of lettuce, 10 plants of each variety
– Mai Wunder
– Australische Gele
– Black Seeded Simpson
Directions: Directly sow the seeds at a depth of 3mm and very lightly cover. Each plant requires approximately 30 x 30cm. 45 – 60 days.
1 type of kale, 10 plants
– Rainbow Lacitino
Directions: Sow seeds directly at a depth of 3-4mm. Several seeds should be planted in each hole. When the plants are approximately 15cm tall, cut back all but the tallest/healthiest looking plant. Space the plants 30-45cm.
1 type of bean (bush), planting 22 seeds
– Bush Blue Lake 247
Directions: Soak the seeds for approximately 30 minutes before sowing. Sow directly at a depth of 5cm. Plants should be spaced approximately 15cm apart.
1 type of peas (bush), planting 68 seeds
– Mystery German variety
Directions: Sow seeds at a depth of 5cm spaced at 5-7.5cm.
I am hoping that at least something will grow. Also, that my resting period will be worth it and the sun will shine. Only time will tell.
Until next time…
the transplanted gardener(in)