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The World Is A Rainbow Of Crazy, My Diva Muffins!

Scott’s out of town this week, so instead of spending wholesome evenings at the dinner table, I read pop culture websites while dribbling tea down my pajamas.

Did you know that Sylvester Stallone named his daughter “Sage Moonblood”?  That Beyoncé dropped $80,000 on a diamond-encrusted Barbie doll?  That Bono flew his hat to Italy, first class, for $1,700?

And then there’s Gwyneth Paltrow.  She’s into bee venom therapy now.

Have you heard about this?  It’s supposed to relieve pain.  You either get stung by live bees, or you get bee poison rubbed on you.  To clarify, both options involve YOU+ BEES.

My point here is that the world is a rainbow of crazy.  People are making bad decisions all over the place. 

I’m not saying I’m above it all.  Oh no.  I’ve made bad decisions for sure.  For example, in 1983 I took my clothes off and ran around naked FOR A YEAR.  As a result, I failed kindergarten.


This was my second year in kindergarten, after I agreed to wear clothes.

All I’m saying is: as long as you didn’t blow $100k on a pair of gold leggings or name your kid “Diva Muffin” this morning, you’re probably doing okay.

And if you make this soup later, you’re definitely doing okay.  (Or at least better than Ms. Paltrow, who’s probably going to have a quinoa and fairy-wing smoothie for dinner.)

tomato soup

It’s a flavorful tomato soup that uses canned tomatoes, so it’s perfect for winter when tomatoes aren’t in season.  It’s chunky.  I actually derived it from a tomato sauce recipe–I was making vodka sauce for penne, and it was so good that I turned it into soup.  It only took 40 minutes from start to serving time, and very little of that was hands-on.  It was great the next day, too.

A word of caution: if you’re not the kind of person who could eat homemade tomato sauce with a spoon, you’re going to want to use more chicken broth than I did.  It’s important to use unsalted broth here because of the sodium in the prosciutto.  A fourth-pound of prosciutto is plenty, by the way.  You could use a little less if you want.

No matter how much broth you use, you’re going to love scooping this soup up with a big chunk of bread.  A bread recipe is in the works!


Chunky Tomato Soup with Prosciutto {Download & Print Recipe}
inspired by a recipe for pasta pomodoro con vodka in Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? by Lisa Camponigri


4 Tbsp. butter

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 lbs. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut or ripped into strips about 1″ wide

1 28-oz. can “petite diced” tomatoes (including liquid).  Really try for petite diced.  I like the Cento brand best for this because the liquid is a little thicker.

1/2 c. to 2 c. unsalted chicken or vegetable broth

sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 c. cream (optional)


Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over low heat.  Add the garlic and sauté until tender and fragrant, about 4 minutes.  Don’t let the garlic or the butter brown.  Add the prosciutto and sauté 2 more minutes.

Add the entire can of diced tomatoes (liquid and all), 1/2 c. of the broth, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired.  Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat so that it doesn’t out-and-out boil.

Taste the soup and add more of the broth if the soup is too thick for your liking.  Add the cream.  Simmer another 5-10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings and broth if desired.



Although. . . Diva Muffin (the name of Frank Zappa’s youngest daughter) wouldn’t be a bad moniker for this one.  Here she’s moping because I haven’t brought her a sparkling water in 10 whole minutes.

tdog 1.30 small

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m also really into (canned) tomato-rich dinners… lately and like never before. It’s the mid-winter nostalgia for summer coming on strong I guess. This looks reeeeally good. And thanks for linking to that cookbook you got it from; I’ll have to check it out!

    p.s. Did you actually fail kindergarten?!? (And if so, did you care?)

    January 30, 2013
    • I really did fail kindergarten! Although my mom assures me I repeated the year because I had tried it when I was 4 instead of 5, and I hadn’t grown that year. So I was “physically small.” Sounds suspect, right? But I didn’t care at ALL at the time. I don’t remember it that way because my parents switched me to another school–it was totally new, so I had no idea I was “repeating.”

      I am super into canned tomatoes right now too, and I’m reading a book called “Tomato Land,” about the tomato industry (fresh tomatoes) in Florida. It’s a damning book, but apparently the canned tomato industry is completely separate.

      As for the cookbook, my mom got it for Christmas. I made the cauliflower bontempi (basically roasted cauliflower with parsley and mozzarella, and both of us really liked it. But then I made THREE cakes from the cookbook: the nut and wine cake, the ricotta cake/pie and another one that I’ve blocked out of my memory. They were each so disappointing. I was really frustrated because they had called for expensive ingredients, too. I talked to a baker friend (Shannon from A Periodic Table) who mentioned that Italian desserts can be drier than what we’re used to, and that explains a lot. So maybe it’s just an Italian dessert thing. But that’s still a shame when it comes to the cookbook, because there are a lot of cakes in there.

      January 30, 2013
      • I’ve heard of that “Tomato Land” book through the Recipe for Change campaign for slave-free tomatoes. (I participated– belatedly– in their Tomato Tuesday event last summer, basically to write a recipe that used slave-free tomatoes and provide some information about the tomato industry and their campaign to get grocery stores to join the Fair Food Program.) I’ve definitely wondered about the origins of canned tomatoes– after all, they do still need to be grown and harvested somewhere!

        Anyway, I’m glad you couldn’t have cared less about the kindergarten thing, but that IS sad about the cakes in that cookbook. (Plus, when I think of Italian desserts, I do not think dry! I think tiramisu or cannolis… and that’s basically it.) Do you think it’s still worth buying the book for all its non-cake recipes?

        January 30, 2013
  2. Fun fact: our first cat was named Dwezil (for Dwezil Zappa). When we got the secon cat, my mom forbade me from naming her Moon Unit. So we named her Stryper, for the hard rock Christian band…

    January 30, 2013
    • Ha! Dwezil is such an awesome name. Did you consider any kind of “out there” names for your little baby?

      January 30, 2013
    • My dad had Stryper records. No really, records. ON VINYL.

      January 30, 2013
  3. 1. Cream is never “optional.”
    2. I graduated from high school in 1981. I feel so old!
    3. I don’t think the bee venom thing is that new. It has surfaced from time to time in the past fifteen years or so. I don’t know what it’s supposed to do for you though. Perhaps it belongs to the time-honored category of “things that hurt or taste bad must be good for you.”

    January 30, 2013
    • Maybe bee venom makes you feel better because when you leave the bee venom person’s office, you’re just glad to be alive. Maybe it makes you feel optimistic. I mean, once you’ve gotten stung by hundreds of bees in the morning, your day HAS TO get better from there, right?

      February 2, 2013
  4. Dr. Alice – We are kindred spirits (Class of ’81). And I suspect we both remember “records. ON VINYL” (Thanks Krisann – for making me feel old!).

    Re: Canned tomatoes. Yup – I use ’em as ingredients in stuff, when I have to. But I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE home-grown sooooo much better. In fact, today, I used-up the very last of my home-grown, frozen-squozen ‘maters by cooking up a big ol’ vat o’ spaghetti sauce. It’s been blorping happily on the stove all day today…

    And yes, more than a spoonful (or three) went straight into my gullet! (Gotta taste test it, right?! Over and over and over again?!)

    Of course, now I’m in a panic because THERE ARE NO MORE HOME-GROWN TOMATOES!

    January 30, 2013
    • “Blorping” is such a wonderful word! Nicely done. I can’t wait for a new summer’s worth of fresh tomatoes! How many months do we have to wait? 6?
      When I was a kid, my mom would leave meatballs and gravy (meaning, tomato sauce) for hours blorping on the stove, and before dinner she’d let me and my brother get a little bowl and spoon sauce over a piece of sandwich bread. Then we’d sprinkle it with parmesan and eat it as a pre-dinner snack.

      For the record (get it? record? I crack myself up) I have a record player. When I lived in New York, I’d spend the occasional Saturday afternoon walking to a far-off part of town so I could go to a record store. I amassed a nice little collection that I still pull out from time to time. There is nothing–NOTHING–like it. 🙂

      February 2, 2013
  5. jenny_o #

    Your soup makes me drool. Only problem is that I can no longer eat tomatoes (sensitive teeth and acid reflux). Darn! But this reminds me, I need to make some chicken or beef vegetable soup soon. Maybe I should check your blog for recipes?

    And with regard to the records (on vinyl) – we still own a bunch. Yes. I’m old. But those records, on the right system, sounded so much richer than anything I’ve heard on a CD!

    January 30, 2013
  6. Looks like you have the corner on the Class of ’81 readership market, Katherine. 🙂 Not sure what that says about us or you, but your soup looks divine and that is all that really matters.

    Plus, git off your duff and bring that poor thirsty dog some sparkling water!

    January 31, 2013
    • Stacy, it must say something awesome like WE ARE ALL TIMELESS. (That sounds like it’s straight out of a Revlon commercial, doesn’t it? We should trademark it.)

      February 2, 2013
  7. The main reason to love soup: an excuse for butter-slathered bread. I can’t possibly be expected to eat liquid-ey soup as a meal without something more substantial to sop up the remnants.

    January 31, 2013
    • Isn’t it awesome when the butter on the bread gets even more melty when you dip it in the soup? GAH. Soup and bread is so freaking good, I can’t stand it.

      We eat a lot of vegetable side dishes with bread here, for dinner. As long as you have good bread, you can make any little thing a meal, right?

      February 2, 2013
  8. Gawd, this post was so informative. I’m actually thinking about quitting the internet and just letting you keep me up to date. And who doesn’t like eating homemade tomato sauce with a spoon? No one I’d wanna know…

    I was in grade 5 in 1983. My teacher, Mr. Manning, was the coolest ever. It was a good year.

    February 1, 2013
    • Grade 5 was my best year, too. My family and I were living in California just for the year, so I went to a new school. I was a total dork at my old school, but for one glorious year in California, I was popular. I kissed two whole boys (TWO!!!!!), which kicked off a 7 year dry spell that lasted until college.

      February 2, 2013
  9. I laughed right out loud when i saw that Gwyneth Paltrow was having bee venom therapy performed on her person. mostly because it reminded me of the time she was super into cupping and when i clicked on the link: CUPPING talk! that woman is DIFFERENT. i love her, but she’s really her own person, and totally does import fairy wings for her smoothies, i would imagine.

    oh, and i would totally eat homemade tomato sauce with a spoon, so we’re good there. what i’m not good with is that i have NO canned tomatoes in the pantry right now; a result of grocery shopping sans list and it being, oh, maybe 392 below zero out, rendering me incapable of thinking clearly. i’m going out to the store to procure the tomatoes tonight.

    in 1983, i was in grade 2. i think. i wonder what it says about me that i can neither remember that for sure or that i can’t calculate what grade i was in during 1983.

    February 1, 2013
    • I’ve been wondering. . . do you think Gwyneth Paltrow has a google alert for “weird traditional medicines”? Is that how she knew to kick start the cupping thing and the bee venom thing? Does she pay an old man in a village in rural China to send her a letter every month with the latest happenings in natural cures? Because she is on her game like white on rice.

      February 2, 2013
  10. JillAlameda #

    You all are going to feel really good when you hear that I graduated from COLLEGE in 1983. And my records weren’t even a retro statement. Unfortunately I no longer have a record player, although I still have a few albums – things that never came out on CD like Holly and the Italians. (My daughter is named Holly and I just now realized why. It’s not that I wanted a botanical-but-not-flowery name after all. If I were a celebrity I probably would have named her Split Enz or Ultravox.)

    And I’ve been eating homemade spaghetti sauce as soup since you were in kindergarten – the nudist year.

    Love your work!

    February 2, 2013

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