I had hoped that Week Two would be a bit more relaxing than Week One, but this did not turn out to be the case. In fact, if I factor in the three early-morning teleconferences for work and the frantic rush to assemble paperwork from three continents for 1) attempting to qualify for a mortgage and 2) enrolling Miss B in preschool, it might actually have been worse.
There was one improvement, and that was that we ate dinner at home almost every night. Even in the midst of total uproar, disruption, chaos, or other kerfuffle, knowing that I have food in the fridge and a plan for dinner soothes me. I may not be able to get my hands on the paperwork for the student loans DP took out 11 years ago, but I can put something filling on the table. And the knowledge that Miss B is going to get something other than pizza or mac'n'cheese from a box (at $6 a pop, no less) on her plate, plus some actual vegetables, is also comforting.
As long as whatever I'm making doesn't require too much equipment, that is. Because this temporary kitchen's is, to put it kindly, basic. Three saucepans, one flimsy frying pan, and a couple of plastic bowls and utensils. That's it. No machines, of course, other than a coffee maker. So no way to puree soup, which is something I do to nearly every soup I make regularly. Time for a little creative adaptation.
Necessarily chunky tomato soup
Perfect for making any kitchen feel cozy on a frosty winter night--and the only equipment you need is a knife and a good-sized pot.
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots
2 sticks celery
1 medium onion
1 (28 oz) or 2 (400 g) can(s) tomatoes*
1 qt/900+ ml stock of your choice**
4 oz/125 g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
salt & pepper
Heat the olive oil gently on medium heat while cutting the vegetables into small dice; add these to the pot in the order listed and saute for a few minutes, until they are starting to soften and color.
Pour in tomatoes and stir to distribute vegetables evenly. Pour stock into empty tomato can(s) and swish around to get all tomato residue out, then pour into soup pot. Stir to combine; cover partway, bring to a boil and simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, then add spaghetti. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until spaghetti is al dente. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a bit more liquid if the soup is too thick for you.
Top with grated cheese and serve immediately, with warm bread and a cheese plate alongside.
Serves 4, with leftovers.
* You can use any kind of tomatoes you prefer--whole, chopped, or pureed. I went for pureed because I wanted a fairly smooth consistency.
** You may not need this amount of stock, depending upon how thick you want your soup to be. I usually reserve some of it, in case I want to thin the soup at the end.