This has been the winter of soup. I make at least one soup a week. I used some tried and true recipes like my Greek Fakkes Lentil Soup. And I’ve experimented with some new recipes. A few weeks ago, I served Chicken Noodle Soup, homemade especially for the carnivores in the house. I had a roasted chicken in the refrigerator and hearty noodles in the pantry and a couple of kiddos feeling a little under the weather. It was an easy decision to make.

About a week before that, I was faced with a similar meal-time decision. No sick kiddos, but I had a pint of cream that I needed to use. How I still have heavy cream left was beyond. We usually go after cream in this house like cats., especially if it’s whipped. But there it was an entire pint. After some thought of how to use the cream, it came down to two possibilities: make a pie and whip the cream or make a creamy soup. While I really wanted pie so that I could have whipped cream, I ultimately decided that the family would much rather eat a meal than just dessert, possibly. So, I scoured the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator and decided on a homemade, from-scratch roasted garlic tomato basil soup (vegetarian, if you please) served with crusty bread. (EDITED TO NOTE: The family is okay if all you serve is pie and whipped cream for dinner. Read my blog “Pie Day” HERE.)

B loves tomato soup, but I wasn’t so sure that the Girl and Monkey Boy would. I was formulating a backup meal plan for them when they wandered into the kitchen inquiring as to the “oh-my-goodness-we’re-starving” what and when of dinner. I braced myself for, “That’s what we’re having for dinner? That’s child abuse. I would rather eat vomit.” Instead, I got, “I love tomato soup!” shouted loudly and in unison. They even high-fived each other followed by a yay and a fist bump and a little jig right there in the middle of the kitchen.

I scrunched up my nose in disbelief, “Really?”

My disbelief was suspended when my children—the Girl and Monkey Boy—gobbled down several bowls…each. B got two bowls, and then he scraped the bottom of the 5.6-quart Dutch oven to get anything the kids left behind. It was surprising. I figured that I would be eating tomato basil soup for lunch for the next week. Nope.

The Chicken Noodle Soup was also a big hit the night I made it, but there were leftovers that no one wanted to eat.