If you're eating locally, as Cranky and I have been doing this month, it's not always easy to pick out a dish from a cookbook and try to make it from what's available within a 100-mile radius.
No sukiyaki for me, in other words — tofu, shirataki, soy sauce are off limits. No spaghetti carbonara, even if I seldom use a recipe for it — wheat pasta is off limits (sadly, because everything else in the recipe is available within my region).
No chicken satay with peanut sauce.
Ah, so what.
We're eating à la availabilité.
I'm constantly thrilled by how good food can be when you didn't really choose in advance what you'd want to be eating. When you just take inventory, let the brain do a little arithmetic, and come up with possibilities. Brilliant possibilities, recipes be damned.
What's in the larder that's local? Well today, it was a sack of mushrooms, some frozen roasted tomatoes, a little half & half, some spring onion, butter, red wine, chile flakes. Salt. (Hah! Local!) On the patio, bay leaves and thyme.
Therefore, tomato soup.
I've never had this soup before, but I might have it again.
Then again, I might not. It was a product of provisions.
Seasoning note: I accidentally let the butter go brown while I was slicing the mushrooms, but I pulled it off the heat in time to save it from burning. Oh, wow. What a flavor enhancer. I did add a little fresh butter to sauté the mushrooms in, but in the finished soup I could really taste the sweet, nutty flavor of the brown butter. Recommended.