Happiness, aka a big delicious bowl of tomato soup. Nothing makes me happier then cooking up a delicious dish that fills my home with a wonderful aroma. The process of cooking is just as important as your final dish. Cooking really is a great metaphor for life. You have all these amazing ingredients that you carefully prepare; chopping, searing, blending them together. Seasoning just right – not too little, not too much, just enough to compliment your ingredients and bring everything together. During this process your mind is being creative, your senses are excited, and your heart is skipping a beat in anticipation of this wonderful, delicious creation that you’ll soon get to enjoy.
Life itself is a process filled with trial and error; patience, heartache, excitement, experiences and accomplishments. Cooking teaches us to be thankful for our ingredients; being careful to wash, prepare and handle them all with respect; reading about and understanding the different flavors and the magic that happens when you combine everything together.
I find my happiness in the kitchen. My mind escapes while I whip up dishes like a mad scientist; experimenting, testing and creating. My reward to having my patience tested, my mind stimulated, and my palate teased? A tasty bowl of goodness.
The best part about cooking is it’s completely in the hands of the chef. You are in the driver’s seat. Your creation is your interpretation, your opinion, your creativity. Cooking is never a failure because if your dish doesn’t come out as you wished then the next time you’ll do something different…And that truly is just like life!
The recipe below is my interpretation of the ingredients I had at hand, but honestly, season as you find appropriate and substitute – create your own happiness. Enjoy, have fun, laugh, relax; let your mind escape while you take my recipe below and make it your own. Any comments are welcome! I love to read about other people’s take on recipes to see what I can do different next time around.
Tomato Soup with Seared Rump Roast
3 lb rump roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
32 ounces of beef stock
4 large whole peeled garlic cloves
Half a red onion chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
All purpose seasoning to taste – about 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 can chopped carrots, drained
1/2 can sweet peas, drained
1/2 can sweet corn, drained
1 white potato, peeled and chopped
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
28 ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cream cheese
- Trim fat and generously season your roast with coarse sea salt, dry rosemary, thyme, pepper and paprika.
- Heat olive oil over medium-hot heat in 6 quart pot – sear all sides of roast until browned.
- Add in beef stock, onions and garlic to pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to bring up all the deliciousness from searing your meat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 3 hours, or until meat is tender and falls apart with fork.
- Transfer meat to plate, strain out fat (discard) and strain out garlic from beef stock along with 1/2 to 1 cup of beef stock, set aside. Freeze remainder stock to use in the future (if you freeze in an ice-cube tray you can pop out beef stock cubes for when you want to add some flavor!).
- Add the 2 cans of tomatoes to the pot, veggies, beef stock, and garlic, one cup of water, and shredded rump roast meat.
- Mix well and season to taste with all-purpose seasoning.
- Bring everything to a simmer, cover, and let get happy for about 10 minutes (or until potato is fork tender).
- Add the cream cheese to thicken – mix well. Serve with crusty bread, noodles, or just how it is.