This one is the product of combining a bunch of leftovers, as I think many good thermos lunches are. Some kids, like P., enjoy a thermos of good old tomato soup for lunch; but some kids, like P. again, also need a really substantial lunch, and often I find it just as easy to mix some other things into that thermos of soup as I do to pack enough side items to fill him up.
Meatballs of any description you and your family like are a good, easy thing to keep on hand (they freeze beautifully), and they’re a natural pairing with tomato soup. As to the spaghetti squash, I was gifted one recently by a friend who’d gotten it in his CSA and doesn’t care for it. It needed to be cooked pretty quickly, so I just roasted it up and stuck it in the fridge to deal with at another time. But it stood to reason, I figured, that spaghetti — even the squash variety — ought to go with meatballs. So into the soup it went, and P. later told me that he LOVED his “really cool yummy soup lunch.”
You can use any tomato soup recipe you like for this. I’m giving you the recipe for the one I happened to use that day, just as a bonus.
1 cup roasted tomato soup (recipe follows)
6 mini-meatballs (or 3 regular sized meatballs, cut into smaller pieces)
1/3 cup cooked spaghetti squash
In a medium pan, heat soup to bubbling. Stir in the meatballs and squash and simmer for about 5 minutes, to warm everything through. Pour into a preheated thermos.
Roasted Tomato Soup
4 cups roasted tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
In a large pot over medium-high heat, saute the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil until translucent. Add the salt, pepper, basil, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup until it’s smooth and creamy. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.