It has finally started smelling like fall. Damp leaves replaces humid heat rising from asphalt, hearty rosemary and sage replaces the floral basil and mint. Cold, achy darkness replaces sunny mornings.
And so you make soup. Because you need to smell onion caramelizing in oil, see steam rising from a bowl and taste something smoothing going down the ol’ pipe.
Most people grow up with Campbell’s tomato soup along with Goldfish crackers, Saltines or Kraft grilled cheese sandwiches. I wouldn’t allow tomato soup to touch my lips until a few years ago, and only if copious amounts of basil and cream were added. And only because children forced me too. Mom always said kids bring karma full circle.
I found a super simple, but excellent and satisfying tomato soup recipe in the recent Food Network magazine, which I adapted to my liking. Adding tomato paste really deepens the flavor, and using crushed tomatoes omits the need for a blender – unless you have an immersion blender and then I am jealous!
With it, I made Gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches – bread slathered with melted butter, then Dijon mustard, Gruyere cheese and a crack of pepper. Press on hot surface of your choice.
Easy Tomato Soup
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 3 T EVOO
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 c. good chicken stock or broth
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (splurge on San Marzano, please) – even the herbed kind are good
- 1 T tomato paste
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
In Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium, then add onions. Cook 15 min., stirring, until golden brown. Add garlic and cook 1 min. more. Stir in tomato paste, stock, tomatoes 1 T salt and 1 tsp pepper. Bring soup to boil, then reduce to simmer 15 min. Stir in cream and cook another 10 min.
Meanwhile, make up your favorite type of grilled cheese. You can even cut them into bits and use them like croutons. I went classic:
Surprising how much flavor the soup had, when I was used to the canned variety.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo