I WON'T BACK DOWN

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

TOMATO SOUP W/STAR ANISE


Pancreatitis is such an insidious thing. Chronic pancreatitis is a painful and unpredictable thing. Docs are stumped as to what brought on Hub’s condition, but stressors was the general consensus … and we have had lots of stressors since we moved here to Heron Pointe last Summer – 2 major pains in the ass, namely neighbor ron who instigated the August ridiculousness … and sour faced/attitude Park manager candy, who caused so much frustrated stress (and still does) that Hubs ended up in ER which led to 2 scary ICU visits, and subsequent lengthy hospital stays with continual flare-ups. Heron Point puts itself forward as a “very friendly place with very friendly people” … but that has not been our experience here; especially since candy became manager: I can’t wait to leave this hell hole. As soon as Hubs is on the mend, and our realtor finds another place to relocate, we are outta here.

Until then, spending so many days at the hospital is taking its toll in many ways – one of those ways being the family budget. I have been eating breakfast, lunch, (and sometimes dinner at the hospital café when I stay the night), but at $10 a meal, it adds up quickly … the cost is astronomical, and the food crappy! You would think that hospitals would serve healthy foods, but they don’t – it’s just overpriced fast food like any other place in town that serves fast foods guaranteed to land you in ER. I have had enough of ER!

So I have decided to make my own lunch and supper at home and pack it to the hospital; that makes sense economically as well as health-wise. Tomorrow I will be enjoying a tasty aromatic tomato soup (recipe below) made with the tomatoes I grew in my garden this year with a side shredded turkey/hard-boiled egg sandwich. Yummmm! Much, much better for my body than the fast food tasteless stuff served in the hospital café that is worse than ‘the golden arches’ ick I never could stomach. I need to stay healthy for Hubs so that when he comes home I can do what needs to be done for him and with him – can’t do that if my body is filled with junk foods that will harm it.

This practical recipe made with an exotic Chinese spice, the little hard star anise; and it is easy and delicious: perfect for a chilly Fall meal. Plus it packs … and freezes well too ;-)

TOMATO SOUP W/STAR ANISE ~6 servings

2 TBSP Vegetable Oil * 1 large Onion, chopped * 2 Celery stalks, chopped * 1 large Carrot, chopped * 3 pounds tomatoes, chopped (or 6 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, undrained) * 4 cups Beef Stock * 12 whole Star Anise * 2 fresh Parsley sprigs

Heat oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add celery and carrot and cook until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, half of star anise and parsley; cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes to blend flavors.

Strain soup through a fine sieve into another saucepan, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Degrease soup, then bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with remaining star anise and parsley.