The Connections Around Tomato Soup

In the midst of reflecting on the reunion/college tours of last week (click here and here to read), my friend Marya asked me for my tomato soup recipe.

And it made me think about connections.

Marya and I met my freshman year of college through InterVarsity when she and her husband Kevin were lofty seniors.  That meant that when we re-met 25 years later, I remembered them clearly and they vaguely maybe remembered me.  Freshman year I dropped by InterVarsity occasionally, just enough to disrupt their winter retreat (where I became the center of attention as 100 students tried to heal me–a story for another time) makes me all the more unmemorable.

But we reconnected 25 years later when Kevin came to Boston to be a professor and I wanted to start a faculty fellowship.  It’s so nice when God gives you the chance to befriend folks the 2nd time round.

At the Boston Faculty Fellowship, I cater all meals, hence the tomato soup connection.

The tomato soup recipe came from my grad school friend Margaret, who threw various parties where she cooked delicious gourmet food so far beyond what I ever conceived.  She took me a step beyond both spiritually and culinarily.

At a brunch on a cold blowy day, she served tomato soup.

I felt nervous about it.  My mother has an aversion to tomato soup–going to college as a Chinese immigrant, she couldn’t stomach either the tomato soup/grilled cheese sandwich nights, or the tuna casserole nights.

But I took a sip, and voila!  An aversion was destroyed and a new love began.

While I was sipping Margaret’s tomato soup in her apartment, Kevin and Marya were several miles away, working/going to law school/getting married.  We enjoyed mutual friends and we were all in the same place, but unconnected.

Tomato soup connects these dear friends, 25 years later.  It feels like a wonderful circle of friendship and food.  All homey, warm and nourishing.

Kind of like tomato soup.

Chunky Tomato Gazpacho
(Margaret Evans)
Makes 6 ½ cup servings
10 ¾ oz. can Campbell’s Tomato soup
2/3 cup milk
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
14 ½ oz can tomatoes, undrained and slightly chopped
1 tsp. oregano
4 slices bacon, well drained, crisply cooked, crumbled
Combine and heat thoroughly, simmer until the soup looks red rather than pink (30 minutes).  Can be served hot or cold
KTM notes:  I don’t put the bacon in during cooking, just sprinkle on top afterwards so it’s still crunchy.

About Kathy Tuan-MacLean

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