Some days just call for tomato soup and grilled cheese. It warms you down to your toes.
One summer in college I worked at a camp for three weeks, through boys camp, girls camp and youth camp. And each week the day they had grilled cheese and tomato soup- every kid ate at least three servings. It was the only meal that everyone agreed on. It is a powerful commonality :)
My favorite prepared soup is this delicious stuff. But sometimes when it's really cold, I actually enjoy standing over the stove while soup simmers. There's something calming and grounding and warming about preparing a meal from scratch (for the most part anyway).
This soup has fantastic flavors, pulling the sweetness from the tomatoes with hints of onion and garlic. The croutons add a delicious buttery complement with the perfect crunch. This recipe makes enough for a crowd and can be easily adjusted to meet dietary needs by removing or replacing the heavy cream for dairy free or vegan or omitting the croutons for gluten-free. All in all, a lovely meal that everyone will love (except my sister; she's weird and doesn't eat tomatoes... but I still love her.)
What You'll Need:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1–2 teaspoons sugar, divided
10 cups water
1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream
salt and pepper
4 pieces of bread, cubed
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
What To Do:
Preheat over to 300 degrees.
Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until onion is completely soft and translucent, 10–12 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until paste has begun to caramelize in spots, 5–6 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juices, 1 tsp. sugar, and 10 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavors meld and soup reduces to about 2 quarts (8 cups), 45–55 minutes.
While soup is simmering, stir Italian seasoning into butter and toss thoroughly with the bread cubes. Lay flat on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crunchy. Allow to cool.
Remove soup from heat; let cool slightly. In small batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot.
Stir in 1/4 cup cream. Simmer soup until flavors meld, 10–15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. sugar. Add more cream, if desired.
Top soup with cracked black pepper and croutons. I also like to top mine with Parmesan shavings and crumbled bacon! Serve hot with a grilled cheese.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit