Sunday night, I settled into a lazy afternoon of cooking shows and recipe reading. As it drizzled outside, I knew that I wanted comfort food. To me – the only thing that warms my soul on a day like Sunday is tomato soup and grilled cheese. Since I had the time, I decided not to reach for the Campbell’s Soup concentrate, but make my own.
The summer’s bounty of tomatoes was gone from my grocery store, so I knew I needed to help them out. Check out yesterday’s post on roasting tomatoes. Then by adding some heat and smokey flavors – cayenne pepper and cumin – this soup is hearty while it warms you up.
You will see that I didn’t use exclusively roasted tomatoes. I feel like combination with tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes gives the soup more depth of flavor.
1 medium onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
20 roasted tomato halves
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
salt and pepper
In a large, heavy bottomed pot (I got out my dutch oven), heat the olive oil in your pan, then add the onion, shallot garlic and a little salt. Let this sweat and become translucent – not brown – for about 5-7 minutes. Add the cayenne and cumin, to coat with oil and bring out the flavor of the spices. Cook for 1 minute, then add the tomato halves and the oil from the roasting pan and tomato paste. Mix together and cook for a couple of minutes, releasing the juices. Add the canned tomatoes and about 2 cups of chicken stock. Add a little more salt and pepper to season. Remember that this will cook down, so don’t get too salt happy.
Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Let simmer, covered on low for 45 minutes or so.
I like my tomato soup without a lot of chunks so I took my handy immersion blender out and blended it to remove the chunks. Then simmered it for 10 more minutes. Finish with a quick pour of balsamic vinegar at the end for some brightness and salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is on it’s last simmer, I put together my favorite grilled cheese – wheat bread and cheddar cheese. Plain and simple. But oh, so good with the creamy tomato soup.