Badly Timed, Deliciously Smelled Tomato Soup
6 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 stick cinnamon
3 slices of ginger root, matchsticked (note: smaller or larger slices as per your ginger-lovin' preferences)
2 cardamom seeds
1/3rd tsp coriander seeds
3 bay leaves
3-4 Tb olive oil
4 nearly overripe tomatoes (or canned equivalent), plus 28 oz diced tomatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups water/broth
toss spices and oil into a large pot, and let them heat - and start sizzling while you finish smashing and peeling the garlic. Fling the garlic in as you go along, because surely dinner should have been on the table 20 minutes ago? And hey, isn't anyone setting the table?
While you holler for the kids to come and bring plates, forks, knives and spoons to the table, roughly chop the fresh tomatoes, if you are using any, and toss those in. Remind the boys to bring glasses, also, while you open the canned tomatoes. Stir the pot, toss in anything remaining, cover and abandon to simmer while you go and chivvy the troops.
And dig up the napkins - how on earth did they end up down there? Hmmm. Resist the urge to go and find the guilty party (and congratulate him on his creativity), because at this point the soup's been simmering nicely for about 20 minutes, and you need to find a stick blender.
Use the stick blender.
Remind the children that dinner is traditionally eaten at the table. Remind them again. Disentangle the younger one from his Lego, and airlift him to his seat. Pour soup, and pass bowls of toppings, like cubed avocado, the slightly crushed tortilla chips from the bottom of the bag, bits of cucumber, and consider the days when you might've plopped sour cream on top.
Note: if you have, for some unimaginable reason, just discovered that your defrosted salmon went into the oven with a lovely pomegranate sauce (open bottle, pour) with a hint of plastic (take scissors, release salmon, release plastic), then possibly you are 1. overtired and 2. could happily dump a can of small white beans, great Northern beans or another mild white bean into this soup. Cook briefly, puree and serve with salad and maybe some of Gamma's improbably good croutons. Or, consider some leftover chicken, shredded and added post-puree, or possibly as a topping.
Note the second: this would never happen to me. Nope. Nuh uh. And especially not after a long, thoughtful conversation with the Man whilst returning home from Rosh Hashana, in which we identified a prompt 6 pm dinner as being the key to many happy widgets. Like timely bedtimes, less tired children and smoother evenings and mornings. Nope. I'd pick that plastic out before it melted into an alarmingly viscous sauce and swirled into the lovely pomegranate stuff. Yep. That's what I'd do.