Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Simplest Soup You'll Ever Make...Really.Ever.

When we'd first been invited to our friends home the weather had been warm and sunny, but I'd rescheduled time and again and now it was rainy and very cool. The kids were disappointed because they'd held out high hopes of a swim in our friends' pond and an afternoon frolicking with pigs and chickens and kittens (oh my!).

As we entered the front door, however, all disappointment about the weather faded completely. The scent of freshly baked bread and warm soup hit our noses and watered our mouths, sincere conversations about books and homeschooling filled our ears, and the sun peeked from the clouds and invited children out of doors to play right before our eyes. The Wrights lingered long after the delicious meal was served and enjoyed and enjoyed and enjoyed. "Mom," Cole whispered between bowls of soup, "PLEASE ask Mrs. Clarke for the recipe for this soup! It's so good!" Oh and it was.

When I asked for the recipe, our gracious hostess explained that the soup is called "Five Can Soup" and she promised to email the recipe soon. We eventually left the warm hospitality of the Clarke family and headed home, a wonderful afternoon (and early evening!) deeply enjoyed.

The next morning, Cole's waking words were, "Mom, you've gotta email Mrs. Clarke and get that soup recipe, PLEASE!!" Happily, when I checked my email later that day, the recipe for Five Can Soup was tucked into my inbox just waiting for me.

Here's the recipe, exactly as emailed:
{Printable Recipe here}

1.     Progresso Minestrone
2.    Corn
3.    Black beans
4.    Mixed vegetables
5.    Tomatoes 

Here comes the hard part:  Open the cans.  Whew.  Now take a deep breath: Pour, heat and eat.

Since it looked so simple, I thought I'd have Cole make the soup, but he was otherwise occupied, so meet the backup...
I'm not certain if the look on her face expresses her shock at my calling to her, "Molly, come to the kitchen and cook dinner tonight, okay?" or that I was about to let her use a kitchen-grade power tool. Either way, she was up to the task.

You will note, that there are ten cans pictured here. Molly decided that as much as Cole had talked about this soup, we needed to double it. Please also note that I took the budget route when shopping for the ingredients for our meal. This is usually how I roll and this meal was an exceptionally great value! It fed 6 people for 3 meals (including second and third servings...Cole) at a reasonable ingredient cost of $9.00!! Do that math...less than 50¢ per serving. 

 After showing Molly how to operate the can opener, she got down to business.

 Gettin' a bit fancy with the technique...

Our soup is a bit more "red" than usual. We put the tomatoes in the blender to make them easier on some of our more delicate palates.
 After warming and stirring, we added a bit of salt and gave it another stir.

I made a couple of loaves of french bread to accompany the soup so that our home would smell like the Clarke's did on the day of our lovely visit.

Our Five/Ten Can soup was a hit which inspired pride of accomplishment in the heart of our young chef. Weeks later as I was polling the group for dinner ideas for the next week, I heard a little voice say, "Make thure and put MY thoup on the list." 
"Your soup? Which one do you want? Which soup do you mean?" we all peppered her.
"MOLLY's thoup!" she insisted looking at us like we were nuts, "The one I made! Did you put that on the listht?"
"I just did, babe. It's on there."
"Thankth! Can you get me thome Lucky Chaarhmth while you're there too?"

"No problem."

Thank you Clarke's for sharing your lunch, your company, and your home with us! 
{Thanks too for the recipe!}

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