Brrr! The chilly winter weather has finally reached us in South Texas. I know that the winter days we experience here can be pretty mild compared to other locations, but I look forward to it all year long. It's been really, really warm here until now. In fact, it's been so warm and humid, that the pesky mosquitoes were still flying and biting just last week! We couldn't wait for the temperature to drop, if for no other reason, just so those obnoxious, little tormentors would move on.
I think these few weeks of cold weather we have each year are so fun and it's a wonderful break from the agonizing heat we have here most of the year. We get to wear our beanies and coats and we get to fall in love again with rich, hearty soups and stews to help warm us back up.
So, now that it's nippy outside, (yep, you guessed it) we're having soup today! Not just any old soup, but my favorite, easy recipe for tomato soup. This soup is one of my all-time favorites because it's super simple to make and it delivers an incredible amount of flavor. It's also absolutely perfect when paired up with a melty, buttery grilled cheese sandwich or some fried cheese sticks on the side. Having met all of those criteria, in my book, it's comfort food at it's finest.
Easy Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
** Equipment needed: small to medium stockpot or Dutch oven, blender or food processor
- 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, peeled or scrubbed and sliced
- 1 medium celery stalk, sliced
- 1/3 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, diced with juice (I use Hunt's brand)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or stock
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2-3 tsp sugar (to taste)
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
1. In a small stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the vegetables and garlic. Heat the vegetables until the onions become translucent, this should take only a couple of minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
3. Scoop out half of the can of tomato paste and stir it into the soup to thicken it up. Bring back just to a boil and turn off the heat.
4. Process half of the soup mixture at a time in a blender until smooth. (Please hold that blender lid firmly! Hot soup to the face is not a pleasant experience, but it's sure a memorable one. Just trust me...) You'll need an extra, medium-size bowl to separate batches. Return all of the processed tomato soup to the pot on the stove. Salt and pepper to taste and swirl in the milk. Stir well and serve hot.