I think that for many of us, tomato soup and grilled cheese are the ultimate comfort foods because they remind us of our childhoods. I remember my mom making this for me and then learning to make it for myself. I even remember making this classic combo when I was babysitting. Typically, however, the tomato soup came from a can. I admit, you can get pretty good canned or boxed tomato soup these days. S o why make your own?
Well, as with so many other things, homemade soup just tastes better. I think it’s worth the effort, which is less than you would think. In fact, this recipe only take about 45 minutes, most of which is simmering time. Plus, it can be adjusted a bit for your taste. I prefer my soup a bit chunky, so I use a mixture of crushed and diced tomatoes. I think the bites of tomato pair nicely with the slight crunch of the pieces of celery in the creamy soup. If you wanted a smoother consistency, I would use all crushed tomatoes and perhaps even give it a whir in a blender or with an immersion blender at the end.
This soup is adapted from a recipe in the Lompac Cafe Cookbook. The Lompac Cafe is a lovely little place in Bar Harbor, Maine. I got this cookbook after a visit up there with my Mom and my brother back when I was in college. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend a visit. The area is so pretty with lots to do including hiking and ocean kayaking. The winters are bit harsh, but in the summer it is lovely, and the Lompac Cafe is a great spot to stop for lunch or dinner. They even have a terrific blueberry cake made with the local wild blueberries. So tasty!
I initially paired this soup with a traditional grilled cheese, but I had some of the leftovers with popcorn, which made for good pictures and a terrific lunch!
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery diced, 2-3 ribs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tbs. sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, water, and 1 tbs of the sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20-30 min, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Taste the soup and if it is too acidic, add up to another tbs of sugar.
- Serve hot.