When I was a kid one of the most comforting things we’d have for a rainy day lunch or after school snack was soup.
By soup, I mean canned soup. We’d cleverly combine a tin of tomato soup with a tin of another soup – perhaps beef and vegetable or ‘Stockpot’ or similar but ALWAYS Heinz brand. It’d slide out of the can all thick and gluggy and then I’d add the requisite tins of water and stir with a wooden spoon.
“So chef-y!” I thought.
It’d simmer on the stove in a bright enamel pot for 5 minutes and then voila! Comfort in a bowl.
I loved this soup. I remember living in Canberra and trekking home from school in the rain, cheered by the promise of this soup. I didn’t really know much about soups made from scratch. Nor did I want to know because I loved the two-can soup combo and it was a favourite family ‘recipe’. Everyone in our house knew how to make it.
This soup tasted just as I wanted it to right out of the tin, thanks to various flavourings, thickeners and gosh knows how much salt. I’d twist cracked black pepper across its steaming surface, pile a plate with four slices of fluffy bread and head into the living room where I’d make sure the heater was on full bore or the fire was lit, flickering those first yellow-y flames before it settled down in earnest.
I settled down in earnest too, putting on an old episode of Countdown that I’d recorded on the VCR, finishing first one bowl full, then another, perhaps with an extra slice of bread or two.
* insert chef’s kiss here! *
Once I’d eaten way too much soup and bread, I’d head for my bedroom, shutting the door on the world and plucking a record from my collection – probably The Cure – to listen to, and drowsily start my homework (or flip through Dolly magazines).
It’s rainy and cool today and not only did the weather spark an urge for comfort food, it also excavated this long-buried soupy memory. I’m not going to make this two-can soup. Sometimes old favourites are best left in the past where they can maintain their sentimental integrity. Chances are it wouldn’t taste the same these days, but thanks for the memories, soupy glug!
What was your go-to rainy-day after school snack or family fave easy recipe?
Top images by THIS Etsy shop.