One of my favorite childhood lunch memories was sitting down to a bowl of hot tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. It was simple, not fussy; canned soup and plain white sandwich bread with American cheese, but I grew up with the notion that this was the perfect lunch on a cold day.
Though the range of soups that I crave has broadened considerably since then, I still pine for a steamy bowl of tomato soup on frigid days like today. We also add other flavors we like: our homegrown slow-roasted tomatoes, some of the seasoned olive oil the tomatoes are stored in, and roasted red peppers. When our stash of summer peppers is gone we buy big jars of Del Destino fire roasted red peppers from Costco, which work great. Sometimes we serve it with sandwiches, sometimes salad, and always with seasoned croutons on top.
And as much as the soup warms the belly, it warms my heart even more to see our boys enjoying the foods I loved as a child.
Update October 17, 2011: Thanks to Dash Recipes for featuring this soup!
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (28 ounce/794 g) cans crushed tomatoes (We used 2 quarts of our homegrown crushed frozen tomatoes.)
- 3 slow-roasted tomatoes in olive oil + 2 tablespoons of the seasoned olive oil
- 2 whole roasted red peppers, canned or fresh, drain if using canned
- 1 (6-ounce/170 g) can tomato paste
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry red wine, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- seasoned croutons, for garnish
- In the large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they start to glisten, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until it releases its fragrance, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the kosher salt, crushed tomatoes, slow roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring up to a slow boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until the tomatoes and peppers are fully heated through, about 20 minutes. Stir in the red wine, if desired. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.
- Use the immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in a regular blender in 2 or 3 batches.
- Serve hot with fresh ground black pepper and croutons sprinkled on top.
4-quart pot with heavy bottom and lid
immersion blender or regular blender