A few hours ago, I experienced the thought “Soup is hard to photograph” for the first time. It made me question a few things about my life (e.g. what are you doing taking pictures of soup!? There are actual problems in the world right now and you’re photographing soup! And badly! Or maybe take the Christmas tree down and clean the bathroom this month? Or use your camera to take pictures of people?) But, alas, I made the soup, it’s delicious, I photographed the soup, and I’m sharing it with you. Let’s not overthink it.
This is a small twist on a classic and a far cry from the canned variety. It takes 20 minutes of hands-on time and pays dividends in the leftover category. Even extended leftovers if you choose to freeze some like I do! I wanted to stay true to a traditional tomato soup in some regards. The sweetness of the tomatoes is enhanced by roasting in balsamic vinegar. The inclusion of basil is obviously a classic. However, to blaze our own path, we’ve brought in a touch of heat using a jalapeno and red pepper flakes. This extra flavor means you really can enjoy this soup on it’s own. But what fun is that? I served with grilled cheese sandwiches built on San Francisco sourdough and stuffed with chipotle cheddar and provolone. For health!
Spicy Tomato Soup
Time: 40 minutes total, 20 hands on
2 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
couple glugs olive oil
2 red onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
cream to taste (approx 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste (approx 1/2 tsp each)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pour the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and 1 tsp salt in a 9*13 pan. Roast for 30 minutes in the oven.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the rest of the soup. In a large pot, pour olive oil to coat bottom. Over medium heat, saute red onions and jalapeño until translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried basil. Saute for another minute.
4. Add the roasted tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine and add the chicken stock.
5. Cover the stock pot and turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend the soup in batches in a countertop blender.
7. Add cream, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
Serving suggestions (yeah, really, like people don’t know what to eat with soup): hunk of crusty bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or a green salad. I’m not including a “recipe” for the grilled cheese here. We’ll have to convince the husband to guest post with his signature (and only?) recipe for the perfect grilled cheese. Demand it in the comments!
To freeze soup, I use quart size freezer Ziploc bags. Label the bag, fill with soup, seal, then lay flat in the freezer. This way you can stack several soups as leftovers and take up minimal space. To defrost, place in sink and run lukewarm water over the bag. Should return to liquid form in 5-10 minutes. Then you can reheat desired servings in the microwave or stovetop.