I had made a pasta sauce before I left, my penne with pork ragu, so dinner was sorted, I didn't need to do anything else, but I thought my husband might like a soup and I liked the look of this one, so I placed everything in the oven, and went to football training, leaving my daughter with the job of stirring the ingredients every now and then. Well when I came home the house did smell amazing, I was excited for the soup, my daughter had actually blitzed up the soup, added the stock and it was ready to serve.
Now this is where a recipe intro becomes a marriage lesson.
We sat down to eat and my husband (who was in a crappy mood) didn't like it, now not only did he not like it, he was kind of rude about it, very out of character for him. (Let me just add we have been married for nearly 23 years and he is a great man, but this man was shitty tonight). So me and the kids stayed quiet and enjoyed the soup as we actually really liked it, but my husband well, he was annoying, but as a rule I will never argue with my husband if he's in a crappy mood, especially if I know I had nothing to do with it, that just escalates to full blown arguments and things are said that you don't mean, I always wait until things are back to normal, I learnt this from my mother. After the soup, I went back into the kitchen to cook the pasta for my ragu, my husband came into the kitchen, I simply said to him, you don't have to like the soup, that's fine, but say thank you for my effort, say it's just not my favourite (that is what I taught my kids, they were never to say yuck for instance, it's just not my favourite was a polite way to say they don't love it) and I'll know for next time and we move on. I get that not everyone will love everything I make.
I served the ragu, we all loved that, but I was shitty by now as I don't appreciate rudeness from anyone, especially after I put in all the effort to cook this dinner. After dinner, before I washed the dishes, I grabbed the TV remote and put on a show that we both liked, but as he was shitty, it didn't suit him so he went to bed, drama over for the night. I washed up in peace, watched the tennis with my kids and enjoyed the rest of my evening.
Next day he woke conversation was minimal, if he asked me anything, I answered, cold one word answers only, I don't do silent treatment, but I don't engage in conversations either. He went to work. Now to decide what to cook tonight, well tonight I'm definitely cooking something he doesn't like, tossing between Jerk chicken (but he likes this, I just thought the name is great) and Honey Soy Chicken, I went with Honey Soy Chicken as he doesn't like it, and I thought Jerk Chicken will go too far, plus he likes it. I served the leftover soup from last night to the kids before he came home, and they loved it. Once my husband arrived home, we sat, we ate, he had a little, but I know he doesn't like it, but he said nothing, me and the kids enjoyed our dinner. Quiet night for us.
Next morning is my 23rd wedding anniversary, he wakes, says happy anniversary, kisses me and stares at me, that is him saying sorry, he won't say the words, he smiles, I smile, the fight is over. Now is when we have a calm discussion of what happened that night, and I say that his behaviour was unacceptable and we move on. One thing with being married, not every day is going to be great, but you have two options, work it out, or get divorced, we always work it out. I don't stay angry for long, I'll go quiet, but I don't do the silent treatment, and as soon as the drama is over, we discuss things rationally and calmly.
Later in the day he told me he actually told his mates about the incident, I just looked at him and asked did they laugh at you, seriously (some of them follow me on social media and know how well he eats), he said they did, he even told them when he walked in the house and smelt the honey soy chicken the next day, he knew he wasn't going to like dinner. When asked by his friends if he was forgiven, he told them he'd bought me a bottle of champagne and a rose for our anniversary, and one of his mates said, yes, he's forgiven, they know our relationships is solid. What's funny he told his mates he actually liked the soup, he was just shitty that day, and my poor soup copped it.
Now back to the soup.
This soup was actually delicious, ignore the drama above, it tasted fresh and it was full of flavour. It's also healthy and packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, bonus. Honestly me and the kids loved it, that is why I'm posting it here.
You don’t need to worry too much about quantities in this one either. You really can’t get it wrong. You can also add carrots if you like.
Because the soup is made with fresh tomatoes it can be acidic, once you've blitzed up the soup and added the stock in, taste it, you can 1/2-1 teaspoon of sugar to the pot if you need to counter the acidity in the soup. But this is to taste.
I served it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil instead of the yoghurt or crème fraiche.
Maybe one day I'll make this for my husband again, but not for a while.
2kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded and roughly chopped
400g pumpkin, deseeded and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
3cm knob of ginger, roughly chopped
3cm knob of turmeric, roughly chopped
5 basil sprigs, leaves and stems separated
1 sprig of rosemary
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
3 cups (750ml) chicken or vegetable stock
Basil leaves, to serve
Creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt, to serve (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 120C/100C fan forced.
Place the vegetables, garlic, ginger, turmeric basil stems (keep the leaves for serving), and rosemary in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the tray into the oven, uncovered, and slow roast the veggies for 2-3 hours (I do 3 hours, as I had the time), tossing occasionally, about every 40 minutes. The house will smell amazing!
Transfer the roasted veggies and any liquid from the tray into a large saucepan or pot and use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Add the stock, one cup at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency and bring to the boil, I use all the stock). Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with fresh basil leaves, a dollop of crème fraiche or yoghurt, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or even pesto if you have it).
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