Thursday, November 17, 2011

Zupa Pomidorowa. And Egg Salad

What's for dinner? Earlier this week I wrote about our pork chops & spinach-apple salad. But we didn't eat that all week. We also made tomato soup and egg salad sandwiches.

Tomato soup. I was thinking lots of tomatoes, some basil, maybe a splash of cream, maybe some croutons or crostini. Lots of tomato flavor. But SP's mind was on another path. His eyes lit up when I suggested tomato soup. But then he started talking about adding pork bones or pig feet to the soup. What??!!! I was aghast. He was going to ruin my soup.

He had this whole explanation / rationalization for doing it his way. It was simple: that's how his family made tomato soup when he was growing up. I know that's how most people like certain dishes - the way mom/dad/grandma made them. But... pork bones in tomato soup? Really? Of course in the midst of this soup discussion, we met up with his family for dinner, the tomato soup came up, and I was quickly outnumbered. Pork bones it was.
I don't know where the pork bone thing comes from. We thought maybe it's a Polish thing since his father's family is Polish. I tried looking it up. I found a scanned page from Polish Heritage Cookery cookbook. Tomato soup (zupa pomidorowa) with pork bones. I found this recipe, with pork meat in the soup.

I also learned that pomidorowa is one of the top comfort foods in Poland. And that searching 'zupa pomidorowa' leads to lots of information - in Polish. Duh. And not useful since I don't know Polish! Also, most of the 'Polish Tomato Soup' recipes I found used beef or chicken broth. And many Polish people are divided on whether this soup is best served with rice or with noodles.

I'm not entirely sure what went into our version! It's probably a version that would insult true Polish pomidorowa. SP made the soup Saturday night and I heard him in the kitchen but I didn't actually witness the soup assembly. He let it simmer in the crock pot overnight, the crock pot  auto-shut off around 6~7 am, he let it cool, and before we left for brunch Sunday morning, he put it in a storage container in the refrigerator.

There were chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Cans of tomatoes. Water. Pork neck bones. Fresh basil (actually, frozen basil since we froze our fresh herbs last month). Pepper. And when we ate it, we dolloped in as much sour ream as we each wanted.
Did we eat it with rice or noodles? Neither. Those options never even crossed my mind. I was thinking tomato soup and grilled cheese, but I knew SP wouldn't be too excited about grilled cheese. But a side sandwich sounded good. Finally, I thought of egg salad. We've never made egg salad together and it was sort of in the back of my mind ever since we had that tasty egg salad at the Cafe at the Frick.
I don't like to eat mayo dressed salads the day, or days, after they are made. For some reason, the mayo bothers my stomach after the first day. This is why our potato and pasta and macaroni salads are all dressed with vinegar dressings. For the egg salad, we hard boiled eggs ahead of time. On our soup & sandwich nights, I chopped 3 eggs and a stalk of celery. I let SP make the dressing since he's pickier than I am about mayo stuff. He added some mayo and white vinegar plus paprika, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. We ate it on toasted swirl bread.
The egg salad was tasty. Very nice for something different. As for the tomato soup / zupa pomidorowa, it was good, but it wasn't what I had been wanting, so I was a little disappointed. It has, to me, a strong pork flavor, and while SP really likes that, and while I agree that it adds a nice flavor and richness, I think I would prefer non-porky tomato soup. On the plus side, SP used the immersion blender to puree the soup since I wanted a very smooth, no chunks soup, and it is very smooth.

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