One time, long, long, ago when there were only three little people in our crew I felt froggy & made a weak tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Honestly, I remember not having much to cook with in those days and I had to get really creative with meals. Those were our military days (my husband served in the Navy for 8 years) and if it weren’t for WIC and the free bread giveaways for military families while we lived in Virginia Beach, I don’t know how we would have made it without starving!
This “poor man’s” lunch that I initially cooked many moons ago using basic ingredients that were randomly in our pantry & fridge became a staple for the kids. My oldest two daughters remember sitting at the small table my grandmother handed down to us, enjoying dipping their triangle grilled cheese sandwiches in the tomato soup that their mother knew absolutely nothing about making! They just thought it was so cool to be able to dip their sandwich into something warm! The memory of this simple & novice meal is so different for them and me, but I choose to dwell on their memory because it’s so full of bliss and innocence and genuine happiness.
These days, I tend to make a (more evolved) tomato soup & grilled cheese lunch occasionally just to invite those sweet memories back for the girls as they get older, and allow them to create new ones with their little brothers. The most recent time I cooked tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches, I sneaked some sautéd diced zucchini in the soup (insert evil laugh!). I sautéed onions with it so the strong zucchini flavor was masked and they didn’t know until I said something. Even my husband, the pickiest eater in the house, ate almost his entire bow until I jumped the gun and mentioned my secret ingredient! He had maybe 4 more spoonfuls left to eat but decided not to finish his bowl!!
If you’re wondering, the cute tray & cup set comes from Walmart ! A set of four (trays, cups, spoon/knife, bowl, and plate) for $5 in lots of colors! (I am only sharing the link on this cool purchase; I am not receiving any compensation for posting about this in my blog). I recently threw the majority of our plastic eatery away, but I saw these in the store & thought about the ease of managing meal time, at least throughout the summer. When the kids were younger (when there were only the three girls), most of their things were color-coded (turquoise, purple, and pink). Since I was responsible for doing everything for them all day so many years ago (like many mamas do!), these color-coded items helped my brain tremendously! Coincidentally, these are now the girls’ favorite colors. Probably subliminal messages from their younger years! Seeing these lovely colored sets was definitely nostalgic for me! I bought two different fluorescent-colored sets to accommodate my crew of five, with extras sets to spare.
Lots of feelings happening in this simple lunch pic! Memories, love, and strength from overcoming circumstances. (Another memory attached to the original soup I made: it was made around the time we first began homeschooling, and I didn’t realize it then! Our oldest was put on a waiting list for preschool, so I taught her that year at home with her toddler and newborn sisters joining along for the ride. She entered kindergarten the next year knowing the English alphabet, numbers, simple addition, and beginning reading!)
Leave a comment for me! Let me know your favorite soup recipe and if there are any sweet memories attached to it. (You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to leave a comment!)