Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Comfort Food: Roasted Vegetable Soup

(with apologies to Mel, because there is no picture of cake here today ...)

I still haven't told my mother that I'm pregnant, and I seem to be rounding the corner to week 15.  She was, shall we say, less than supportive during the first two losses, and since then, I have found myself more and more reluctant to talk to her.  And then there's the fact that she just doesn't do what I'd expect a grandparent to do.  Case in point: a few weeks ago S. was away on business and I was taking students on a field trip to NYC by train, meaning I would be about 3 hours away from Ian because of transportation issues, and because I'd parked my car at work.  I asked my mother if she'd be available by cell in case something happened (she's about an hour away from Ian's school) and she told me that would be fine, that she'd be available after 11am when she got back from the Y.  Umm, right.  And what happens before then?  Let's just say I had someone else's number on speed dial that day.

But at some point I need to get over myself and tell her, as a good friend of mine so wisely pointed out, by spelling out how she should react, because delaying the news flash would just make her, and then me, more upset in the long run.  I think I've set myself a date of August 16, which would be my next ob/gyn appointment.  If things are still going well then, I think I can muster up the courage to start spreading the word.  I have been thinking a lot about the recent pregnancy losses among my fellow bloggers (Rebecca, Andie, and so many others); in the face of this reality, it is hard to be confident.  One day at a time, right?

In the meantime, I've started in on the tsunami of tomatoes coming from both our back yard and the CSA.  S. isn't a big gazpacho fan, so this is sort of the other direction; I've been making this soup for years, and I always find it comforting, even though it's a warm dish that ends up offering up its freshest flavors in the middle of the hottest part of the summer.  You could probably eat it cold, or even lukewarm, too, but the important thing is to get herbs and vegetables that have just been picked.  We even got to pull up some of our garden-grown mutant carrots for this one, and I used my still-new blender, which purees like a dream and made me crow with happiness.  Enjoy it with a crusty loaf of bread and a green salad, or some roasted potatoes, or just right off of the wooden spoon you're using to stir it.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
2 3/4 cups (about) low-fat (1%) milk (could also use soy or rice milk for a vegan version)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange onion, tomatoes, carrots and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 55 minutes. Don't be afraid of brown.  Carbon is your friend in this dish.

Cool slightly. Peel garlic cloves. Transfer vegetables to large bowl (do not clean baking sheet). 

Add 1 cup water to baking sheet, scraping up browned bits; add to blender, then add half of vegetables and puree until smooth. Transfer to large saucepan. Add remaining vegetables and 1 1/2 cups water to blender and puree. Transfer to same saucepan. Gradually add enough milk to soup to thin to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup basil. Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.) 

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with another 1/4 cup basil if you so desire, and serve.
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  1. Yes, we do need to meet someday over coffee (decaf or otherwise). Sorry about the freaky emergency call thing -- my mom would do the same thing, and act put-out that I'd even asked her to "be on alert" and cause her a distraction when she had errands to run and other "important" things to worry about. What is it with these freaky mothers? just weird.

    I so get your fear about telling your mom. I guess another way to think of it is that you share the good news with her, but know that she's only a fair-weather friend on this. I don't know if this will work, and I've put myself out there on this one again since I told my parents at 8 weeks (because I kind of had to or else explain why their martini & coffee loving daughter wasn't drinking either and wouldn't go running with them...) If I lose this pregnancy, I really don't know if I will be ok with their anticipated lack of support again, but at least I'm more prepared for it this time around. I hope I don't have to find out.

    And I hope you don't either. Your pregnancy is doing SO well! This is wonderful. I think your plan of waiting until after you next apt is perfect. I'd do the same if I were you.

    The recipe sounds wonderful - I'll have to try it!

  2. I am so sorry that things aren't better with your mom. I wish you could have the support of my mom. She is about 2,000 miles away from us and wouldn't be able to help out in a physical way either, but she has been great on the emotional front. That in and of itself is interesting considering we didn't EVER get along when I was younger.

    Hang in there. It is so hard to be pregnant after a loss. You are always wondering when it is going to happen again and it is hard to allow yourself to believe. I am so glad you are as far as you are. That is great. I am just on your heels at 13 weeks. I am still holding my breath for at least another 12, but we are getting there.

    Your soup looks divine. I wish I could get my girls to eat something like that and I wish I had a garden. I am so craving this now. :)

    Sending you hugs,


  3. Know that in a few weeks, I will always be available on speed dial!
    Hope you find peace in dealing with your Mother. I too have a very difficult relationship with my mother and found emotions ran very high and raw when I was pregnant.

  4. That soup looks fabulous. Which blender did you buy? Not that I have room for a blender...

  5. @InBetween: funny, I saw my mom at a restaurant at 8 weeks, too, and had to refuse a glass of wine ... I'm thinking she either didn't notice or decided I was doing some wacky healthy thing. ;)

    @Melissa: thanks so much for your kind words! You should give the soup a try ... I've found that even little people tend to like it because it's not too far from tomato sauce. :)

    @Cristen: looking forward to it. :)

    @JeCathRe: KitchenAid 5 speed, on sale. It even CRUSHES ICE. *sigh* Soon you will have room!

  6. Man that looks like it would smell and taste yummy.

  7. This looks delicious - I'm going to have to try it (because while I love's been an overboard gazpacho summer so far:)

    And I think one day at a time is a smart way of doing things, always. And I also think setting that date to tell your mom is very smart. GOOD LUCK!


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