The Reluctant Blogger


Dark Days Week 9: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
February 5, 2011, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Dark Days, Soup, Vegetarian

I think I’ve finally landed on my perfect tomato soup recipe. I’ve tried a lot of different tomato soups, and while most have been fine (I can think of two that have been downright awful), very few have been truly delicious. After a recent batch fell into the truly awful category, I knew I needed to put some effort into finding a reliably delicious tomato soup recipe. Preferably one I could make with ingredients I always have on hand. Somehow I lucked into it on my first attempt, just by trusting myself and going what what seemed too simple to possibly be right. But it turned out just exactly right, and although the super-local provenance of the ingredients may have had something to do with that, it would probably still be good with more widely available ingredients.

And what better to have with tomato soup than grilled cheese sandwiches?

My Perfect Tomato Soup
Just enough for two bowls, no leftovers (great if you’re leftover-averse; easily scaled up if you’d like more than two bowls)

2 Tbsp butter
6-7 small onions (I think these were Egyptian walking onions) or one large onion, roughly chopped (approximately 2 cups chopped onion)
4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped (2-3 Tbsp chopped garlic)
10 soft oven-dried tomato halves (the rainy state equivalent to sun-dried tomatoes), roughly chopped (approx 1/2 cup chopped dried tomatoes)
1 pint crushed tomatoes and juice
1 quart tomato stock (I think you could replace this with watered-down tomato juice with decent results)
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft but not browning, then add garlic and dried tomatoes and stir until well mixed. Add crushed tomatoes and their juice, then add the tomato stock. Decrease heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours. Salt and pepper to taste. Can be made a few days ahead (I think the flavor improves if it has a few days to rest) and also freezes well. Grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping are optional, but highly recommended.

Sources for this week’s dinner:
Home-grown Roma tomatoes (combination of canned and oven-dried then frozen)
Tomato “stock” (the excess liquid from canning our tomatoes) from the freezer
Onions and garlic from my basement (by way of my in-laws’ garden)
Homemade butter and bread (same sources as in past posts) 
Exceptions:
Salt and pepper, Tillamook white cheddar cheese

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