Over the last several months I’ve been committed to cooking as many homemade meals as I can. They are extremely tasty, but boy oh boy, it is hard work! I don’t know how our elders did it before premade, prepackaged and processed. The homemade squash soup I made the other weekend took me three hours. The tomato soup we made the other night took two hours. Matt and I have even made our own crackers. And yes, they were delicious beneath a spread of homemade apple chutney and cheddar cheese, but they took a considerable amount of time to conjure.
Despite the savory flavor these meals produce; I’m beginning to grow rather tired. It seems all I do lately is work, cook and run. The situation would seem more feasible if I did not have a job with several hours to plan and cook meals for my honey and me. But, let’s get real. Few ladies or gentlemen chose not to work these days because we would be dead broke or unable to take random trips to Europe in the Spring (Wahoo!). Therefore, most of us are reduced to premade or spending all of our extra time cooking. It’s a problem.
If you have a couple hours of time on your hands, here is a fantastic recipe for tomato soup. It has a little kick from the red pepper flakes. I love to pair it with grilled cheese including a little mustard on the bread. Matt and I have also realized that this would make for an amazing pasta sauce base, some of which could be stored and frozen for later use. You will have plenty left over unless you are cooking for a Brady Bunch sized family.
This recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.
Cooktime: 1 hr 35 min, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Yields 6 to 8 servings
* 3 lbs ripe tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (roma is fine)
* 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or more to your taste)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
* 6 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I use more to give it a nice kick)
* 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
* 1 quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the fresh tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, chicken stock and the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.