It’s Friday

Stock up for magic soup

If you’re headed to the grocery store this weekend, stocking up for another round of wintery weather, which is always a good idea, put tomato soup on your list.
Tomato soup is a winter go-to meal at our house. Cheap and easy and warm. My mother served tomato soup too. It’s good and good for you. Fat-free. Cholesterol free. Provides half of your vitamin C needs for a day. Helps keep you hydrated during the winter months when colds and flu abound. And when you add milk you add protein, calcium, and vitamin D. That’s one pretty healthy canned soup.
The instructions on the can suggest adding water, but I don’t. Add milk and like magic, you’ll have a very creamy, velvety soup. To keep it fat-free use fat-free milk, low fat for a reduced fat soup, or whole milk for those needing fat and calories…young children, older folks, or anyone who needs to gain weight. Tomato soup is condensed and convenient. Put it in a pan, measure the water or milk in the same can. Whisk a few times before heating it on the stove or in the microwave, there’ll be no difference in taste or thickness. Then, soups on!
Now the fun part. For more flavor add a pinch or two of basil or parsley flakes; or try it with a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I want pepper in mine, freshly ground black or white pepper. And by all means, top it off with a handful of oyster crackers. Or if you’re like my momma, enjoy your tomato soup with Zesta crackers.
On the side. To soup it up you’ll need a couple of sides (but still keeping it simple.) My fav tomato soup accompaniment is a grilled cheese sandwich, cut diagonally because it fits around my soup bowl better and stays on the plate. Or make it a peanut butter sandwich. Then serve with sliced apples or even baby carrots. That’s it. Warm, satisfying, healthy and delicious.
As a dietitian, I recommend this easy, healthy meal for day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers. Change the sliced apples to applesauce or canned fruit for people with difficulty chewing. This easy little menu meets all the required criteria. You’re most welcome!
Magic ingredient. You can also add a can of practically magic tomato soup to any vegetable soup, chili, beef stew, spaghetti sauce, lasagna sauce, etc. to make them creamier and to extend them into a few more servings too! Or work ½ cup of so into a meatball or meatloaf mixture, similar to how you’d use tomato sauce. Pour any remaining tomato soup into a freezer bag, date, seal, and freeze for another day and another meal.
Don’t forget the milk, coffee, and toilet paper!
Sighting: the very day I emailed last week’s article in DW spotted a redbird at our feeders. At this writing, he’s the only one we’ve seen, but we see him every day so we’ve named him Scout. Hopefully he’ll carry a good report back to his flock and they’ll join him.

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