Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup


Every year this happens and every year I hate it.  We are in the midst of the seasons changing; I wake up in the morning and it's freezing outside but I leave work in the evenings and it's the perfect warm, sunny day.  It's so frustrating becaue I don't really know what to wear; a sweater and I'll be fine in the morning but miserable in the afternoons OR a short sleeve shirt and I'm freezing in the morning but comfortable in the afternoons.  Not only do I have this predicament when I'm in my closet but I also when I'm planning the menu.  It's pretty bad when I have to watch the weather to plan my menu; I know some other places have this problem as well but it seems like it's intensified in Arkansas.  Here, it can be in the 50's one day and the 70's the next; this is the exact scenario that is presenting itself this week; we have two days of 50 degree weather and then it warms up to the upper 70's and we're in the 80's by this weekend...CRAZY and frustrating.  So what's a girl to do when she's frustrated and doesn't know what to cook?  Make a classic comfort food, of course!  Nothing is more comforting than tomato soup, which is perfect any time of year, and it just gets better when it's paired with a hot, cheesy grilled cheese sandwich.  Yup, this fits the bill no matter what time of year.

Of course, I haven't always been a fan of tomato soup.  When I was younger I didn't really care for tomatoes, let alone tomato soup.  I wasn't a fan of tomatoes on my sandwiches, burgers, salads or really anything for that matter.  Whenever I was at my MaMaw's and she served tomatoes I had no choice but to eat them, she would doctor them up for me and I would politely eat the helping from my plate but I didn't go back for seconds.  As I got older, I continued to try tomatoes on different things and in different recipes and slowly I gained an appreciation for them and enjoyed eating them.  Tomato soup, on the other hand, took me a little longer to learn to like and then enjoy.  I'm not really a fan of the regular tomato soup, but give me tomato bisque or creamy tomato soup and I'll eat it any day. 

Since my palate has grown and matured over the years, I decided to attempt to make my own version of tomato soup.  Spencer has never really been a huge fan of tomato soup; he loves tomatoes but not in a soup form so if he approved of this soup I knew the recipe would be a total success.  Not only did I love this soup and everything about it but Spencer was a huge fan of it, AND he went back for seconds...so this was a big success!  There was such much flavor packed in every bite; not just the tomato flavor but the other veggies incorporated in the soup along with the cream, it was absolutely delicious.  This soup is great if you want a little different take on the basic tomato soup, but it's also a great dish to introduce to those who aren't so crazy about tomatoes.  This will convert the tomato soup boycotters, I know it converted my boycotter!

Creamy Tomato Soup



Ingredients:

1/2 Cup onion, diced
1/4 Cup carrot, finely chopped
1 Cup chicken stock (vegetable stock will work as well)
2Tablespoons butter
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5oz) Can stewed tomatoes
1 (6oz) Can tomato paste
1 Pint heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic.  Saute until onions become translucent (about 3 minutes). 

Transfer the onions and garlic to a medium dutch oven over medium heat and add the broth, carrtos and bay leaf.  Let simmer for 1 minute then add the the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt and pepper reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the cream, stir in and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.

This soup is great and filling by itself but can be even better when paired with a hot grilled cheese sandwich.

Recipe Source: A Lynsey Original

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