Classic Tomato Soup

I love two-for-one meals. Not exactly leftovers, but meals made from leftovers. The following easy tomato soup recipe isn't fancy or life-changing. It's just simple, six-ingredient food (eight, if you want a little more pizazz) to get you through the work week. The recipe makes a little too much for two people to finish in one sitting, and I don't know about you, but as good as tomato soup is, eating it two nights in a row can be a bit depressing. So tomorrow, I'll post a recipe for an ingenious way to use the leftovers the next night.

I've always loved tomato soup. When I was a kid, it was one of the few things we ate from a can. (That, and goat's milk. I know. WTF? But that's a different story for a different time.) My mom bought Campbell's. We'd eat it steaming, fortified with sliced hot dogs and garnished with popcorn.

What? You don't put popcorn on your tomato soup? Don't sweat it. I've never met another person who does. But however you choose to enjoy it, there's nothing quite like a bowl of hot tomato soup on a cold night. The following recipe is almost as easy as opening a can. And while I won't say it's better, it's definitely more likely to steam up the windows while the snow flies outside. And that's pretty great.

Classic Tomato Soup

serves 2, with enough leftovers for Tomato Soup Mac & Cheese

Tomato Soup recipe from Black Dinah Chocolatiers owner Kate Shaffer

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed chile (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

Method:

  1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion, celery, garlic, salt, thyme (if using), and crushed chile (if using). Give the ingredients a stir, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Let the vegetable sweat over very gentle heat until everything is very soft. Try not to let the vegetables brown.
  2. When the vegetables are translucent and soft, add the canned tomatoes to the pan. Crush them with a potato masher, so that the tomatoes are in little pieces. Fill the tomato can half-way with water, swirling to incorporate the leftover tomato juice clinging to the sides of the can, and pour the water into the saucepan. Give everything a good stir, increase the heat slightly, cover, and simmer for 15-30 minutes.
  3. When you're ready to eat, remove the soup from the stove and puree with an immersion blender (If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender. Or, just serve as is for a chunky soup). Serve the hot soup in cups or bowls, and for a late-1970's feel, garnish with sliced hotdogs and popcorn.