Celebrating a Rainy Day: Homemade Tomato Soup and Easy Apple Cake

simple apple cake
The hardest thing to do with this apple cake is not eat the whole thing at once.

Last weekend was miserable. We got a LOT of rain, even for the Northwest. What were our rainstorms last week may be your snow or rainstorm next week, depending on where you live. I like to think most winter U.S. weather systems begin outside my kitchen window, which happens to be pointed west and is about 77 miles from the Pacific coastline, the incubator for all things winter in this region. 

This summer, on one of our hotter days, I discovered this recipe,  which meant I had to crank the oven, but it was worth it! At that time we were still getting buckets of blueberries from Rochester, Wa.,  so the Engine 2 Diet Blueberry Dumpster Cobbler was perfect for us. Seriously, try the recipe with blueberries and it will amaze you with its flavor, and you will want the entire cobbler for yourself, trust me.

So for fall, and to use up a bag of apples we had, I modified the recipe by dicing apples and adding them to the mix and sprinkling cinnamon over the entire dish before baking. AND, for the next batch when I ran out of maple syrup as a sweetener, I went to my old standby, blueberry preserves. Just a tablespoon, mixed into the batter, then adding honey to drizzle over the dish before going into the oven … perfect. No refined white sugar.

And yes, I left the skins on the apples. Why not? It didn’t hurt the taste at all.

Now on to the tomato soup:

Homemade tomato soup.
Homemade tomato soup.

This is my own creation, after years of ingesting Campbell’s Tomato Soup from a can with half a can of milk mixed in. Consider this an upgrade in flavor!

Easy Homemade Tomato Soup 

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (no need to skin)

2 or 3 15 oz. cans diced, no-salt-added tomatoes, depending on how much you want to make

1 cup chopped peeled baby carrots

1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Italian seasoning to taste

Oregano to taste

Basil leaves to taste — 2 or 3 shredded — QUICK TIP: I rinse, dry and freeze the leaves ahead of time for easy crumbling into dishes. This gives a stronger basil flavor with the frozen leaves than just with dried bottled spice from the store

Add all ingredients to a large pot and heat to boiling. Bring temp down to a simmer and let soup simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the flavors have combined sufficiently and the carrots are very soft. Transfer mixture to either a French mill or food processor and blend into liquid. Serve in soup bowls with multigrain bread and enjoy!

Options: You could use fire-roasted tomatoes as one of the canned varieties in the recipe for added depth of flavor, if you like the fire-roasted flavor. Chipotle flakes also will give you that smoky flavor. I added some faux parmesan.

Once you make homemade tomato soup, you probably won’t want any canned variety again. Even with the liquid aminos, this is much lower in sodium than almost any canned tomato soup.

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