Childhood Memories–Mom’s Macaroni and Tomato Soup

Remember yesterday?  As I was writing my first post in months and months it was snowing.  Well this morning I woke to a winter wonderland.

That is the view of my backyard from the safety of my deck.  The sun coming through the snow covered branches is breathtaking.  The lot is one of the main reasons we bought our house.  It was described as a gently sloping lot and gently sloping in Tennessee means a lot.  There is a rock covered drainage ditch in the back and our nearest neighbor to the back of us probably a quarter of a mile away.  The view this morning gave me pause to be thankful for the beauty of God’s handiwork. 

The snow has always brought back wonderful childhood memories.  I grew up part of the time in a suburb of Chicago, “The Windy City”.  It truly is “The Windy City” and tons and tons of snow.  I remember the first snow falls and the beauty.  The field with the ice skating rink.  Walking to the bus stop for the long ride to school.  Walking home in the bitter cold with my mother waiting.  

My mother was often waiting with a warming bowl of beef stew.  The beef was an inexpensive cut but somehow she could cook it till it was falling apart.  Tender yet moist.  We had a boxer back then, Rocky, who loved her beef stew almost as much as I did.  I would bring in his food bowl and she would give him a ladle or 2 and then set it aside to cool.  Rocky always liked his bowl clean.

In fourth grade we lived someplace in Indiana.  Not exactly sure, maybe the Hammond area.  We lived about 6 blocks or so from the school and I would walk to school in the morning, walk home at lunch, walk back after lunch and then home again the the afternoon.  With all that walking I should have been fit but don’t remember that part, just the walking to and from in the cold and the snow.  Brrrrrrrr!

For lunch my mother would frequently have a bowl of wonderful soup waiting.  I have no idea how she did it but with just a few basic ingredients the soup was amazing and so warming.  After I was grown I asked her what she put in that soup and she laughed.  She said it was a way to stretch the food budget.  There are no photos of the soup today, maybe when the thaw happens I can get the primary ingredient……tomato juice.

Mom’s Macaroni and Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon butter (Mom probably used margarine.)
1 medium onion, chopped
32 oz tomato juice
1/2 cup or so of elbow macaroni (a gluten free option works fine)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter and add in the chopped onion.  Cook over medium heat until onion is wilted.
  2. Pour in tomato juice and bring to a gentle boil.  Stir in elbow macaroni, return to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer until macaroni is cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

The above recipe is from memory and may not be exact.  I am looking forward to giving it a try very soon.  Mom often served it with toasted cheese bread.  The bread was usually a hamburger bun with a slice of American cheese on top and then placed under the broiler until the cheese melted.  

Mom passed on many years ago but she left me with some wonderful memories.  It is amazing how the mind works.  This started out as a post concerning Snow Cream and ended up with the soup.  If you make the soup let me know how it tasted.  I’m really looking forward to giving it a try soon.  Not sure if I can replicate the goodness and love that Mother gave it.  A Mother’s love is an amazing ingredient.

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