Do you recognize the situation - it's 5pm on a Sunday afternoon and everyone's asking what's for dinner? You really haven't a clue because you've just spent a fascinating afternoon in the basement catching up on the mountains of laundry that have once more materialized from nowhere. Too late to cook any meat, dinner needs to be easy, a sort of quick "fix it and forget it" affair. That's where the soup comes in. The grilled cheese takes about 5 minutes so I can cope with that and it always brings a smile to the girl's faces. This is such an easy soup, not requiring any blanching of tomatoes, just a can of them and it cooks quickly. I haven't included the recipe for the grilled cheese as it was just basic - lots of butter and sharp cheddar cheese with hearty white sandwich bread.
The added bonus - leftovers for lunch on Monday!
Cream of Tomato Soup.
4-6 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick celery, finely chopped
A generous handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1, 28 can of plum tomatoes
3 cups organic chicken stock
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or more to taste)
To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the shallots and saute on a low heat for five minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, celery, a handful of fresh basil and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Saute for a further 8 minutes or so until the veggies are soft and the shallots are turning golden.
Add the tomato paste and stir, add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover. Cook for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, puree in batches and return to the pan.
Add the cream and combine thoroughly. Taste to check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with plenty of grilled cheese sandwiches.