Rustling Up Relationship

Tomato Soup

"to the women who rustled up a bit of hope each time they set the table"

— Deidra Riggs

Mealtimes are some of the loneliest moments these days— a reminder that our four-chair table is often only filled to three-quarter capacity. My husband's hours and rigorous travel schedule mean I often choose to sit in "Daddy's chair." Somehow it fills the emptiness just a little bit, to move from my regular place over to his.

I do this for the children's sake as much as for mine. And when it it possible, I invite someone else to fill my own place. Yesterday it was Dave Stradling, after he spoke at our church. The day before it was a young lady my girls have been making friends with.

The young lady made me smile when she dipped into the tomato soup I rustled up to provide lunch.

"Did you make this yourself?" she smiled softly.

"I did! How could you tell?"

"It's really good," she said, and went on to tell how her mom makes potato soup with shredded carrots and potatoes. I learned a new way to make potato soup in that moment. In our ensuing conversation, I learned something about the Mandarin language... that it has no formal words for "yes" and "no." (It works more like a dance, using mirror sentences to affirm or negate.) I also learned sweet little details of our guest's life.

In the end, I am trying to see the empty chair as an invitation— a chance to rustle up the hope of deeper and wider relationship that otherwise may not have been.

Quick "It's Really Good" Tomato Soup

Saute until light brown:

• 1/4 onion, chopped small

Add and saute for a few seconds:

• 1/8 tsp dried oregano
• 1/8 tsp dried basil

Add and simmer for 3-5 minutes:

• 1 28 oz. can organic Muir Glen tomato puree
• 1/2 - 1 cup water (based on desired consistency)
• 2 TB butter
• 1/2 tsp salt
• fresh ground pepper to taste
• 1 TB vermouth
• 1 tsp sugar (I like evaporated cane juice)

Over at TheHighCalling.org, we're reading The Spirit of Food. Join us? :)

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Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Ok, so I'm definitely making tomato soup for lunch. I don't have all the "exactly right" ingredients. But close enough ...

Makes me feel a bit like I'm dining with you today. I appreciate your empty chair. :)

12:07 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is such in the spirit of today's post! And your soup sounds just delicious. Pulling up another chair beside Jennifer...

12:21 PM  
Blogger Glynn said...

What? You don't puree your own tomatoes? :)

Hospitality is not only all about food; it's also a spiritualy gift.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

I am new to homemade tomato soup, but when I made it a couple of weeks ago, it was just scrumptious. Yours sounds so as well.

You know, as a single person, I also struggle with a table not so full - mine only one-quarter so. I am learning to see those empty chairs as possibilities. Just as you've said.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Deidra said...

My table's also empty this week, so I'm pulling up a chair next to Laura and Jennifer. Is there room?

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

A recipe! I'll have to go out for some vermouth. I have everything else, I think.

This reminds me of another tomato soup recipe I haven't tried yet, with cashews pureed in.

I'm not sure which part of the recipe name I like better: "quick" or "really good"... :)

I love what you do with empty chairs.

2:12 PM  

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