A rich, creamy, heated bowl of tomato soup is the solution, folks! Topped off with some homemade croutons, and voila! Sanity. Staying sane through the rain. Sane rain. And for those of you back home in Northeast Ohio, call it what you will--Show snow--as in "I'll show you snow! ..That I can survive this bitter frost!" Or whatever you please. Okay that may be a little goofy. But goofy is good. Don't get me trying to figure out a word that rhymes with 'goofy' because I will do it if I have to!
This tomato soup is very rich in the tomato-ey department. A friend recommended adding cream to it. It's a great idea if you want to cut down on the strong tomato taste!!
Creamless Tomato Soup
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped medium
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (I just tried Hunt's this time, I liked it! Will repeat. Usually I use RedPack)
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1'' pieces (I have done it both ways..good white bread and leftover french bread...I don't think it makes much of a difference)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices. Heat for about 3-5 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the tomato pieces until no pieces bigger than 2'' remain. (Don't break the bay leaf) Stir in the sugar and bread; bring the soup to a boil, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender. Add 1 tbsp oil and process until the soup is smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Pour this into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining soup, being sure to remove any large pieces of tomato. Return all the soup (including what was poured into the bowl) to the pot. Stir in the chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top in individual bowls.
**The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp of brandy (optional), but I don't really have a lot of alcohol on hand so I never tried it. It also called for 1/4 cup chopped chives... Your choice!
"[The cold weather] either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail."