Recipe for double goodness tomato soup
Growing up in the 1950s, I lived in a house with a pantry full of red-and-white soup cans, the kind that Andy Warhol painted larger than life. Chicken noodle soup ruled, with tomato soup a close second. Paired with any kind of toasted or grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup was the perfect afterschool snack, the perfect weekend lunch, and the perfect dinner on a busy night. This version comes right from my grown-up pantry, and it's even better than the soup of my childhood, because it contains two types of tomato: slow-roasted tomatoes and home-canned tomatoes, made at the peak of goodness last summer and stored in the freezer. You can substitute sun-dried, oil-packed tomatoes and store-bought chopped tomatoes (make sure to use 100% tomatoes, such as Pomi, that don't have any citric acid).
Double goodness tomato soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter (omit for vegan soup)
1 large leek, trimmed, washed, chopped
20 slow-roasted tomato halves (or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)
1/2 tsp oregano
42 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp mild red pepper flakes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
In a Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan, heat the oil and butter over low heat. Add the chopped leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until translucent but not yet starting to brown. Stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes and oregano, plus 2 cups of water, and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat, and puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender (or, carefully, in a stand blender). Taste, and add salt and pepper. If the tomatoes aren't sweet enough, add a teaspoon of sugar.
Stir in 1 cup of water, blend again, and return the soup to the stove. Simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning again, if needed, and serve hot. Or, allow to cool completely and freeze.