Sunday, January 11, 2009

Comfort Food

It's a balmy 25 today with a windchill of 15. Nothing says lunch on a cold day like tomato soup and grilled cheese. None of that high fructose corn syrup laden junk that comes in those iconic red and white cans for us!

In all honesty, this is probably better if you simmer it longer. Or wait a day and eat it. Or soak good quality dried beans overnight and use them instead. And make your own stock.

But, like I said, it is really cold outside. My husband is leaving on a week-long business trip to SF.* And I felt compelled to send him on his way with a warm home-cooked meal in his belly. The upside - I have leftovers to feast on while he's away. I poked around in the fridge and the pantry and came up with this:

Tomato White Bean Soup with Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Oil

1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (red or white)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 15 oz can white kidney beans and liquid
1 28 oz can diced stewed tomatoes
3 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 3" sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Lemon infused olive oil or good quality olive oil and a splash of fresh lemon juice

  • Heat oil over high heat in a heavy bottomed pot.
  • Once it is shimmering add in the onion and celery and saute until the onion starts to become translucent.
  • At this point add in the garlic, give it a go around in the heated oil but don't allow it to brown.
  • Add in the beans, tomatoes, stock and herbs, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes - longer is fine, too.
  • Remove bay leaf and rosemary and puree soup (I use an immersion blender. You can use a standard blender but be careful - the soup will be very hot - be sure to leave the top slightly ajar). Add in additional water or stock if you feel the soup is too thick.
  • Adjust seasoning if desired.
Serve with a drizzle of lemon-infused oil or good olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. Grilled cheese sandwich (we had grilled mozzarella), optional.

* Poor guy will really be suffering at the St. Regis with a personal butler.

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