Jump into a pile of leaves.

But please don’t poke your eye out in the process (I had to say it…my mom use to work in Critical Care. She has scarred me for life with stories.)

There is something about fall that is just so, incredibly yummy. Maybe it’s the comfy sweaters, the changing leaves, the weather and…the food.

Unless you live in Hawaii or San Diego (but I’m not counting SD, because you fools can drive to Julian). There is one season here. Sun…and more sun. Then it only rains at night (it’s a cosmic joke the universe is playing on me…what I wouldn’t give for one rainy day…where it rains all day, not just 15 minutes), which forces the night bugs into houses. And the food, it’s just not the same. I can’t wear a sweater unless I want heat stroke. I am however, determined to bring autumn into my house. Probably because I miss it and need a mental reminder of how awesome fall in New England really is.

I know that September 22, is the first day of autumn and September 23rd is the Equinox (aren’t they supposed to fall on the same day?), but I don’t ‘work’ on Wednesdays, assuming we’re counting the 22nd as the first day of the new season, so today is that day for me.

My husband doesn’t like tomatoes, like, he picks them off of everything. He does however, like pizza, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, etc. So whether or not he likes tomatoes is up for debate. I don’t buy it. One of the things he makes a lot of is tomato soup, but he pours his out of a can (ugh…) and adds milk (double ugh…). I want creamy soup, but I don’t want milk in it and I definitely don’t want it to come out of a can (well…the tomatoes came out of a can…but, their organic and I didn’t have time to cook down tomatoes, though it is really easy).

I found a recipe a year or so ago from Cooks Illustrated, if you’ve never read this publication stop by a bookstore and read it in the aisle, it will only take a couple of minutes (hahahaha..). I like their reviews a lot and most of their recipes are great as well. This tomato soup recipe was good, but I made some changes. First, I always use San Marzano tomatoes, maybe because of personal preference, but the taste far exceeds most other tomatoes. Today I chose to use crushed instead of whole, because that’s what I had on hand. You can really go either way. I also used Vegetable stock, because again, that’s what I had on hand. I rarely have chicken broth in my kitchen because I rarely purchase┬áchicken…because it’s hard to find chicken here that I agree with eating (personal preference) and Whole Foods is 45 minutes away on a good traffic day in Honolulu. You can definitely change-up the stock. You’ll get a slightly different flavor, but it all works.

Don’t forget the pepper flakes, it really makes this soup. I don’t want my tomato soup to be so acidic it burns the lining of my stomach, but I also don’t want it to be so creamy I can’t taste the tomato. This recipe really is the best of both worlds.

You know what else is really good? Grilled Cheese on homemade bread. It never occurred to me that I should use homemade bread for grilled cheese until I was at my Aunt’s house one day. From then on…always. It’s just not the same without the yummy dense bread. Bread? Check. Block of Cheese? Check.

The other great thing about this soup is, since I like to dip my sandwich in my soup, it’s thick enough to stick to the bread…and your bones. There are lots of ways to finish a soup, drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some bread crumbs, Salsa Verde…you name it, you can add it. Because I enjoy cheese so much (pretty sure I got this from my mom, she is like a mouse when it comes to cheese), I top mine with some freshly grated parmesan and some cracked pepper.

BOOM! That is soup!

I appreciate soup 100x more now than I ever have before and I make it quite a bit because my oldest really loves soup…and cheese (see a trend…I do).

Yummy sandwich…ooozing cheese. Yummy soup for dipping. One positive about deployment? I was able to enjoy this in peace. My husband seems to believe that since he use to live in Japan he is allowed to slurp ::shudders:: his soup and noodles for the next 50 years. It drives me banana’s…but I still love him, despite the slurping.

If you’re looking for a good bread recipe that bakes up REALLY great, look no further. I’ve got you covered (did you think I would leave you hanging??). Williams-Sonoma’s White Bread Recipe is by far the best White Bread I have been able to successfully bake. I know it is time-consuming, but it’s well worth it.

Now, off to play ‘Super Bunny’ with my kids. I have no idea where they come up with this stuff.

One thought on “Jump into a pile of leaves.

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