Is it spring yet? I keep seeing these kind of comments and status updates posting on Facebook. They make me smile a little each time I read one, as the thought has been frequently crossing my own mind lately, but I’ve been trying really hard not to complain.
I’m just going to be honest…winter is not my favorite season. The cold settles into my bones and I literally ache from the chill. Most days from now until April I’ll have a warm mug of something nearby. It helps, but so do the 3+ layers I’m wearing. No, I’m not kidding.
This year, I made the decision to be more positive about the cold, gray months, to look for ways to enjoy this season that challenges me greatly. So far, it has helped. I’ve run more miles outside than any winter before (wearing the right gear is so key), found a cheerful stocking cap that keeps me warm both inside my house and out, and I’ve gotten out with my camera to capture the boys having fun in the snow. Am I ready to call my new winter attitude a success? Mmm….probably too soon to say. With the end of January and February stretching out before me it feels like we’re just getting started. I see many more mugs of tea, chai and cocoa in my future. Oh, and don’t forget those extra layers, they really do help.
Two years, ago I began roasting and freezing many of the tomatoes we grew, so that they could be added to sauces and soups over the winter. Each time I’d pull a bag from the freezer I would be reminded of the warm sun and the beautiful garden where the tomatoes were grown. It was like having a little bit of summer in the middle of our cold season. This last summer, we froze 50 lbs of tomatoes purchased from our CSA. I’m sorry to say we are going through them rather quickly, they bring so much flavor to everything we add them to. Next summer we’ll definitely have to freeze more!
Most of our tomatoes have ended up in this very soup, if not used for pizza or marinara sauce. It has a wonderful way of warming you up, even on the coldest of winter days.
Creamy Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups roasted tomatoes, with their juices, or 1-28 ounce can with juices
1 cup water
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a mild white cheddar)
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper