tomato coconut soup

This rain is slowly killing me. Death by dripping clouds, is what it will read on my tombstone.

I know we need the rain, and I’m not one to think that the weather should bend to my every whim (I lie; I totally believe the weather should heed my moods), but really. Five straight days, then a mostly-no-rain break over the weekend and then another string of rainy days this week? It’s a bit much. 

By the end of last week, I had plummeted. My husband was nearing the end of a six-day work week, the kids were crawling out of their skin, I was in that horrible creativity wasteland known as play letdown (and to think I thought I might get to skip that stage, ha), and the rain would. not. stop. I can make all sorts of jokes about my emotional state when I’m mostly okay, but last Friday I wasn’t laughing. It got so bad that my son texted the following to my husband:

Help! Call Mom and tell her you love her. She is driving me mad! She needs someone to care for her. She has stopped listening to everybody and she is getting unreasonable! Heeeellllllppppp!!!!!! Call and talk to her. Just don’t say I put you up to this. 

So yeah, it was bad. (For the record, my husband did not call because he was working and when he is working he forgets I exist. But he did show me the text later that night and…I chuckled!)

That night I made a coconut tomato soup for supper. I get a kick out of combining basic ingredients to get complex flavors, which in this case involved sauteing onions with cumin, curry, and coriander, and then adding canned tomatoes and giving the whole thing a leisurely simmer. When it was time to eat, I pureed everything, whisked in the coconut milk, chopped some fresh cilantro (the leftovers from this salad), plopped a loaf of fresh sourdough on the table, and supper was served. Simplicity is so gratifying.

The soup was a delicious antidote to foul weather blues, but—no rainbow endings here—it didn’t fix ’em. I struggled through Saturday and finally arrived at Sunday (whew) which was much better, thanks to church, Sunday company, a book, a movie, and sunshine, blessed sunshine.

This week started out fine enough. Actually, fabulously fine: my running-resistant husband, spurred into action by the previous night’s crazy movie, (a bit of swearing but otherwise a great movie for family night—recommend!) got up to run with me before going to work. We hit the road before it was light, but soon after arriving back home, the skies dumped yet again. The grayness steadily pressing down, the constant drip-drip-drip, proved too much for my fragile state. Within minutes, I could feel my tentative grip on sanity start to slip. At lunch, I drank a mug of bad weather-antidote soup and felt mildly healed. But only mildly.

The forecast is calling for another week of rain. I may not be upright for much longer….

Tomato Coconut Soup
Adapted from Luisa’s recipe over at The Wednesday Chef.

This is the original recipe, doubled. Use coconut oil in place of the butter for a lactose-free soup. Instead of cilantro, Luisa says you can garnish with chopped fresh basil or mint. Also, the recipe calls for 6-8 cups of water—it’s supposed to be a thin soup. I only added 1-2 cups (if that), and the soup was thin enough to sip from a mug.

Updated March 2019: made this without any water and it was still sippable and delicious. Also, I used half coconut oil and half butter, and garnished with chopped mint — yum.

4 tablespoons butter
2 onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin
1/8 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper
2 quarts canned tomatoes
2 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Saute the onions in the butter until tender, or about 10 minutes. Add the salt, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and pepper, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and a cup of water (or more: see headnote), bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup, whisk in the coconut milk, and simmer for another ten minutes. Taste to correct seasonings (it will probably need another ½ teaspoon of salt) and serve. Don’t forget to pass the cilantro.

This same time, years previous: happy weekending and margarita cake and apricot pandowdy.


  • katie

    Another person finished the Barkleys again this year. Actually, I think he might now be a two-time finisher. Crazy man.

    We're right there with you in the rain on the other side of the mountains here. I'm feeling similarly.

  • Gretchen

    Well, if it's any consolation, I'm mildly thankful for rainy weather because I'm stuck in the house DOING NOTHING (which, under normal circumstances would sound like a trip to Shangri la) because I had a damn HEART ATTACK on Saturday. So, I'm glad to be alive and padding around my own home with nothing to do but read a book or watch a movie because I'm not allowed to use my right arm for anything more than shoveling low-calorie, fat-free food in my face. Yeah, the cardiologist snaked a catheter through an artery in my arm, kinda bruising said artery along the way to accomplishing its important stent-placing mission, and warning me that the artery could bleed if I mess up. So, a(nother) rainy day may have been sent just for my benefit.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Oh, you poor dear! Way to put things into perspective for me! I hope you heal quickly and can soon move on to some tastier food!

  • Anonymous

    I think it's probably okay to say that we don't actually need the rain today. I think the plants have had enough already too. Come back another day (week) and then we'll need it. Maybe.


    • Anonymous

      I am so sick of the rain. This is the third (fourth? fifth?) week in a row that I have attempted to hang out laundry to dry and instead it got wet. I'm fed up. Everything smells damp and soggy. Please. Rain, go away. And don't make me regret that I've said it. Sigh…


  • Becky

    This rain. I know we need it, but still. Enough already.
    I did take advantage of the pause in the drip, drip, drip to get some serious digging and garden prep in, which made me feel better for the moment.

Leave a Comment