Monday, January 10, 2011

Plastic-Free Tomato Soup

Something about cold winter days that makes me long for a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.  Growing up making tomato soup used to consist of opening a can of condensed tomato soup and then slicing velveeta (??!!) for our grilled cheese sandwiches.  Yeah, no... we don't do that anymore!!

When I was at Tidal Creek, I noticed strained tomatoes in glass jars.... with paper wrapped local hoop cheese in my cart... I couldn't resist the thought of hot tomato soup with oooey gooey cheese.... a perfect comfort food.... and completely plastic-free!!!! :D

Creamy Tomato Soup

2 TBSP butter (or oil)                                                   2  24-oz jars of strained tomatoes
1 small onion, diced                                                      Pinch of baking soda
1 rib of celery, diced                                                     2 cups homemade vegetable stock or water
Pinch of ground cloves                                                 1 1/2 cups milk (to desired creaminess)
1 1/2 tsp dried herbs, basil or tarragon are nice             Salt and Pepper
2 TBSP flour                                                                Tomato paste, if needed 

Melt butter in medium size pot over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and spices; stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and soft-- 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour, then add tomatoes, baking soda and stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.  Let the soup cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth.  (When puréeing hot foods be sure to hold down the lid with a towel.)  Return the soup to the pot and add desired amount of milk (up to 1 1/2 cups).  Season with salt and pepper.  NOTE:  If the soup is too thick... just thin it with additional stock, milk or water.  If you like a stronger tomato flavor, add a bit of tomato paste.  

Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich... or if you're feeling lazy like I was when we had leftovers... just grate some cheese on top of the soup ;)

Mmmm.... with the snow coming down outside (yes!! it's snowing!!!)... I think it's going to be a soup kind of day ;)