Calling All Soccer Moms

This past weekend I attended a bridal shower for a dear friend and former teammate from my college soccer team. The upcoming wedding not only marks the union of two friends from college, but more importantly it's the union of two highly talented foodie families. The Groom's family is Italian and has been in the restaurant business for years. The Bride is from a tight-nit Ukrainian family with a cherished history of fantastic home cooking, a Mamma who used to be a caterer and a son who shares her passion. Hence why I jumped on a train to Philly the second I heard the families were cooking for the bridal shower - well that and to be supportive of course.

Though she may not realize it, the Mother of the Bride has been cooking for me for years. In college our parents organized weekly post-game tailgates for both home and away matches. When one thinks of tailgate food, the usual suspects come to mind: wings, subs, chips, brownies. Well, our parents blew it out of the water: coconut shrimp, marinated beef tips, butternut squash soup, sushi - and lots and lots of doggie bags. And the doggie bag I always sought (and by sought I mean stole directly out of my teammates fridge) is the MOB's cream of tomato soup. I couldn't help myself - it is amazing. Imagine my embarrassment (and relief) when her Mom started bringing extra soup for yours truly so I'd stop stealing her daughters. This treatment lasted all through college and even into the real world when we moved in together in Manhattan. Whenever her parents visited, the soup fairy would leave presents in the fridge: a vat of tomato soup labeled with MY NAME and a container of potato leek soup for her daughter, which, heaven help me, I broke into as well. (No wonder my friend is so thin!) My name is Heather, and I am a soup addict. "Hiiii, Heather".

Now that we live apart, I have resigned to begging - for the recipe, for a sampling to be decontructed or for an invitation to dinner. Whatever the mode, I needed my fix and I needed it now! My prayers were answered last weekend. As part of her bridal shower gift, the MOB compiled a book of family recipes that were hand written and passed down by her great Grandmothers. It was the most touching and invaluable gift - and as it turned out, my ticket to soup heaven. There they were, side by side on page one - the recipes for Cream of Tomato and Leek and Potato Soup. SCORE! I thought it would look suspect if I pulled my iPhone out to take a picture and steal the recipes (it's a sickness I tell you!) So I pretended to be cooing over pictures, all-the-while willing my brain to suddenly become photographic. Unfortunately I blew my cover when I suddenly blurted out "MAYO?! The secret ingredient is MAYO?!" And with a wink and a nod her Mother gave me permission - I had passed the test. The pearly gates opened:

Tania Bojcun's Famous Cream of Tomato Soup:
There are two versions of this recipe - the short and the long. For the long version, add chicken pieces (drumsticks, wings etc) to the vegetable saute to add depth to the flavor.

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic

1. Chop and saute in either butter or olive oil or a combination for about 15 min (just to soften). 
2. Salt pepper to taste (at this point, add chicken and saute extra few minutes on either side).
  • Garnish bouquet of parsley (enhances taste/smell)
  • 64 oz chicken broth or stock
  • 48 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste

3. Add ingredients to sautéed vegetables; bring to boil then simmer for approx 15-20 min
  • ½ c mayo
  • ½ c light cream
4. Remove garnish and chicken.
5. Ladle soup and vegetables into blender (filling container no more than ¾) and adding 2 tbsp mayo each time).
6. Repeat until all soup is pureed – return to pot.
7. Add light cream – salt/pepper to taste.
8. Simmer additional 10 min.

Mamma Bojcun - Dyakuyu!

Recipes whose codes I still have to crack: (any and all help, willing or forced, is greatly appreciated).
  • Mr.Watson's Marinated Beef Tips
  • Mrs.Watson's hot cocoa (I do not believe it's packeted - you're just trying to throw me off!)
  • The Cross's Vegetarian Chili
  • Tania's Coconut Shrimp

Let the games begin!
- The Heat


Anonymous said...

hahahahah I'm telling you it's a packet! And had the beef tips this past weekend IT. WAS. DELICIOUS

Anonymous said...

Hahaha... And a nice Ukrainian touch at the end!!!

Anonymous said...

You definitely got your nails manicured for the above shot....

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