For some reason I found myself craving a grilled cheese sandwich last week. I was trying to figure out what I could have with grilled cheese to make it a more respectable meal and decided on soup. We didn't have any cans of soup in the house but I did have canned tomatoes so I figured I'd make my own tomato soup. I've never been a huge fan of tomato soup but this is a good one. It's fairly creamy even without the addition of the heavy cream. I wound up adding just a little half and half and I thought it was perfect. It's a really quick recipe to whip up, though I definitely wished I had an immersion blender when it came time to puree the soup. This recipe makes enough soup for several servings and reheats quickly and easily from the refrigerator.
Creamy Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic (optional)
2 (14-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, or water
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic (if using), stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, their juices, and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer tomato mixture to a blender, food processor, or food mill. Puree tomato mixture (if using a blender, cover the lid with a kitchen towel while machine is running).
Return soup to a clean pot and set over low heat. Whisk in cream, if desired; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or transfer soup to a bowl set over an ice-water bath to cool completely. Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat until heated through.