For almost a year I dated a man who had told me early on that he didn’t like garlic.
Having a mother born in Italy and basically being raised Italian, I should have known right then that things weren’t going to work out. But you know how that goes. Not only do certain women (like me) think that they can change the man they have into the man they want—but they think they can change them into liking garlic too.
I think the whole relationship was near the breaking point when he was coming over for dinner one night.
“How about I fix your favorite food,” I asked. (Okay, to be honest, I was hoping I could slip a little garlic into it to prove to him how wrong he was.)
“That would be great,” he said, smiling stupidly.
Yep. Now that I think of it, that really was the end. When a man tells an Italian cook that his favorite dinner is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with Campbell’s Tomato Soup on the side well, let’s just say, it was too wide a gap to narrow.
To be 100 percent honest, not that I have anything against Kraft Macaroni and “cheese” or against the apparently all-American Campbell’s Tomato Soup, I myself have never had either one.
I know. Hard to believe.
You can imagine my feelings therefore, when the man I am married to now actually suggested one day that we have tomato soup for lunch.
“Oh my God, tomato soup?” I was terrified. Next thing he’d be asking for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. What had I gotten myself into?
To his credit however, what my darling husband finally said was, “You’re Italian. I bet you make a great tomato soup.”
That was it. Proof that I had married the right man.
Being vegan these days, however I don’t make soup like I used to. Here is my version of a recipe I adapted from Blissful Basil that is absolutely delicious. Not only that, but by putting it in the crock pot, it is a dream to make with little to no preparation time.
I serve it with avocado or hummus toast points and salad, and every now and then, in a nod to my non-vegan husband, I will add cubes of Parmesan cheese, one of my mother’s finishing touches.
4 whole cloves of garlic
1 medium red onion (quartered)
1 red or yellow bell pepper (cut into large pieces)
2 each 28-ounce cans whole peeled organic tomatoes in juice
About 2 cups organic frozen cauliflower
2 stalks celery (cut into large pieces with or without leaves)
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
2 Tsp. dried oregano
2 Tsp. dried basil
Salt and red pepper to taste
Put all ingredients together into a Crock Pot and cook on high for 8 hours.
Let it cool a bit and, leaving the juices in the bottom of the Crock Pot, blend the ingredients in a blender until it is desired consistency. (You can add the juice from the Crock Pot if you like a thinner soup).
Note: For the non-vegans, stir a handful of parmesan cheese that has been cut into 1/2” cubes into the hot soup about 5-10 minutes before serving. The cheese will get soft and chewy and add a very nice flavor and texture.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own