Saturday, May 31, 2008

First Tomato Soup

Had my usual Saturday walk with Ellie and Lucy this morning. To Riverside Park and the River Run playground. Once we were home, Ellie talked about making tomato soup. Now, Sofia's made many fine soups, but none of them tomato. (I'm hoping for matzo ball soup one of these days.) I asked Ellie if Baba taught her how to make it, and pointed out that I've never made it. (I've only had the one Warhol presumably liked.) "No. I know myself." she said. Thinking this was going to be more pretend cooking I settled into some web browsing.

Then some tomatoes attached to Ellie walked by -- to the bathroom, where she can reach the sink. I paid a bit more attention when a pot of water came walking back from the bathroom, most of it (not all) staying in the pot. "OK," I thought, "this is not entirely pretend." and cleaned up the floor.

So I peeked into the kitchen. (Thankfully we live in an open-plan apartment, so this required leaning back about One Inch.)

Turns out that peek was some sort of sixth parenting sense: there was Ellie standing on her chair, serrated knife in hand, halfway through a tomato on a precariously placed cutting board on the narrow part of the counter in front of the sink. Knife is On. The. Way. To. The. Fingers.

[Oh. Jesus.]

I guess she knew she shouldn't have had the knife because I didn't have to say much or say it loudly. Nonetheless, lots of sobbing tears -- body-heaving sobs. Sheer physical trauma from the disappointment. This girl *really* wanted her tomato soup.

So we talk, and I explain that I don't really know how to make it. But we can always look it up in the Joy of Cooking. (Amazing book, that.) And of course it was about the fifth soup recipe.

And so we cut the tomatoes. (Ellie watched this time.) And sautéed some onions in olive oil, just like Joy says to. Ellie got to put in the onions. Then the tomatoes about seven minutes later. (Any risk of her standing near the stove on a chair seemed worth it.) We munched on some bread while it simmered. Finally we did the puree thing, added a touch of cream, simmered a bit more, and served.

So maybe I don't get a listening award. Or a home safety award.

And I certainly didn't get the salt right. (Not enough.)

But it was a very fine soup.