Yesterday evening, sitting with a group of young adults, I asked them my usual question- what did you eat today? That spiraled into a fun conversation and one young man said, “The house (residential facility) assigned each of us a day to cook .I want cook something crazy good, but we only get $10 each and I got to feed everybody.”
The rooms buzzed with a lot of ideas. Then eyes turned to me when a young girl said, “They always listen to you, you can tell the staff no way $10 is enough, right?”
I simply informed them that I disagreed and that they could make a dinner for eight. In life you have to work with you have. I suggested they elevate the traditional tomato soup by making a version of the Tomato Orange Soup at Elephant’s Deli and serving it with a day old baguette, a salad, and maybe get some cookies on top of that.
They all looked at me in disbelief. One young adult joked, “We said $10, not a $100. Who has money for organic soup?”
I went into my food nation speech and told them to write a letter to their local grocery asking for perishable foods, as so much food goes to waste in America. I said that I couldn’t fathom that a grocery store would say no, but that if they did, to ask them why and what would change their mind (it worked for France!). This got many of the young adults as excited as I am when I visit my own local produce stand and spot a few pounds of tomatoes in the discount bin so I can make my own soup.
Tomato Orange Soup
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (scallions will work just as well)
- 2 pounds roasted fresh tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes (Cajun bell pepper or jalapeno finely chopped will work just as well)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (dried thyme will work just as well)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup milk
Melt butter in a 3 qt saucepan. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Puree with immersion blender. Stir in orange juice. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated until ready to serve. At serving time, add milk and heat gently, stirring constantly. Adjust seasonings if necessary.