We’d hoped for a lazy morning in Prince Rupert—time to catch up on a few more chores or go out for breakfast, perhaps—but the weather conspired against us. More accurately, the forecast conspired against us. Windy predicted southerly wind near 20 knots by mid-afternoon at the confluence of Ogden Channel, Grenville Channel, and Arthur Passage. A few years ago, we’d been in the same area with slightly more wind and it wasn’t fun. We pounded into the steep, closely spaced waves for hours as sheets of spray seemed to open up new leaks. We spent the afternoon in Captain Cove drying things out and rebedding port lights. Not eager to repeat the experience, we decided to leave Prince Rupert around 6:00 a.m. and try to beat the weather. The strategy worked, or the wind never came.
Regardless, we enjoyed a smooth, easy trip down to Captain Cove.
We’re heading south on the “outside of the inside” route from Prince Rupert to Shearwater. Rather than the more common route along the east side of Princess Royal Island and then through Grenville Channel, we’ll be on the west side of Pitt Island and Princess Royal Island. This route is more lightly traveled, offers new scenery, yet still is protected from ocean swells.
Given our early departure from Prince Rupert, we arrived in Captain Cove with plenty of time to explore. We dinghied around the perimeter of the bay and spotted a lone black bear along the beach. Occasionally, this bear jumped up on its hind legs and grabbed berries (or maybe other food) directly from high branches.
Dinner tonight on the raft was homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! We found some super soft bread in Prince Rupert that made great grilled cheese sandwiches (each person got to choose their own cheese, which ranged from sliced American to Cambazola and Camembert–fun!) and Sam found a recipe online for tomato soup in the Instant Pot that turned out delicious! Will definitely make this again.
Instant Pot Tomato Soup
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 3 15 oz Cans of Diced or Crushed Tomatoes, with juice
- 4 cups Broth, chicken or vegetable
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, (chopped) or 1 tsp dried
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Fresh Basil
- Parmesan Cheese
Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. When the display reads “Hot” add the oil and butter.
Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes (let the onion brown a little for better flavor). Stir occasionally.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Stir and close the lid of the pot and lock it into place. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Cancel the Sauté mode. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button and then the + or – button to choose 5 minutes.
When the cook cycle ends, let the pot naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. Then turn the steam release knob to Venting and manually release the remaining pressure.
When the pin in the lid drops, open the lid and stir the soup.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a creamy consistency. Or transfer to a blender and carefully blend the soup in batches. Please use caution!
Stir in the Parmesan cheese and let it melt into the soup.
Stir in the heavy cream.
Taste and adjust salt, if desired.
Garnish as desired and serve.