Tag Archives: tomatoes

Food Bank Volunteer


Bagging tomatoes
Emptying large crates,
Filling small bags, seventeen.
On my feet all day.


Spinach-Tomato Soup


The spinach-tomato soup I made, in a bowl and ready to eat with crackers!

When I made spinach-tomato soup, I didn’t want to ever stop sauteing those onions, garlic, and celery, because the veggies and olive oil smelled so good, and the sizzling was like music!  It was similar to something that would happen periodically all through my schooling years, from preschool to college. When we did something in school I really enjoyed, I often did not want to stop doing it. Then I was disappointed when we started doing something else that I didn’t like as much. Not wanting to stop sauteing the vegetables didn’t end up being that similar to it, though, because the second step after sauteing was adding thyme and oregano to the mixture. Those seasonings made the mixture even more fragrant!
The part that was somewhat disappointing came when it was time to add the canned crushed and diced tomatoes to the mixture. When I first put them in, they diluted the aroma of oregano, thyme, and sauteing onions, garlic, and celery. Soon, though, the tomatoes cooked long enough to become fragrant, and the aroma took on a whole new form. The soup became even more aromatic when I added the spinach along with basil. When the soup was simmering in the pot, I could smell all the different ingredients combined.
The recipe said to add balsamic vinegar along with black pepper shortly before serving. I had never heard of putting balsamic vinegar in soup before, so when I first put it in, part of me worried that I was making a mistake. I knew it was the right ingredient, though, when the vinegar added a whole new aroma to the soup.  It smelled right to me.  All the different smells were combined, and at that point, I was ready to see what the soup tasted like!
At first the soup was a little too acid-tasting from all the canned tomatoes, but once I added garlic and onion powder, it tasted better. I knew garlic and onion powder would be good in this, both because garlic is good in almost everything and because the soup already had fresh onions and garlic in it. Even with the garlic and onion powder, though, I knew any kind of tomato soup would taste better if it were made with fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes.  Unlike the canned tomatoes diluting the aroma at first, though, this was not a disappointment.  Since it was made with canned tomatoes, I didn’t expect this soup to taste that much better than it did.  I ate it up anyway, though, because it was healthy (even though fresh tomatoes are healthier).
I am looking forward to making more tomato-based soups in the future, but next time, I would definitely like to make it with fresh tomatoes. There’s a few things I’m not sure of, though. Would a soup taste better with fresh tomatoes than canned tomatoes even if the tomatoes aren’t local or in season? I know tomatoes always taste best when both of those are the case. If I ever get around to canning my own tomatoes, would they taste better in soup than store bought canned tomatoes? Please share your opinions on these questions below.  Until next time!