There’s a tempest blowing out there and since the winds are from the South, the whole house fairly shakes with it. “Blustery” doesn’t even come close to describing a true Breton “tempête.” And gale, while it means the same thing, doesn’t have the gusty, slashing rain, one minute sunny, the next minute dark as dusk romance of a tempest.
Practically speaking, the dark, rain-sodden clouds of a “tempête” tend to cast a pall on my enthusiasm for going out, unless it’s to look at the changing colors and light or see whose boat has come unmoored and is knocking against the sea wall. That, in turn, limits my cooking possibilities. Thank heavens for tomato soup then, which is warming, satisfying and a total snap to make with an onion, some dried spices, and canned tomato products. And it remains better than any prepared tomato soup you could buy.
Tempest Day Tomato Soup
This recipe was borne out of a homesick urge to have Campbell’s tomato soup on a cold rainy day. While you can find Campbell’s soup in France now, it costs about $7 a can. At this point, I have been making my own version for so long that I now prefer it. It’s tangier, less sweet and…well…less canned.
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup diced onion
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
½ tsp. Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence
1 cup water
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Stir in tomato paste, and cool 1 to 2 minutes, or until tomato paste darkens and begins to look dry. Stir in vinegar to deglaze pan, and cook 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4