I have had my eye on this recipe for awhile, but I have been hesitant to make it. I typically do not care for tomato soup. Then again, I have never tried to make my own version of tomato soup. All of my tomato soup experiences come from the red and white can, served along side of a grilled cheese sandwich. Being a somewhat rational person, I decided I cannot let my view of canned soup influence how I feel about soup that you make yourself, from scratch. Even though this recipe does use canned whole tomatoes and their juices, I figured it would not resemble the canned tomato soup of my youth. Since I had all the ingredients on hand, I gave it a try.
Oh man...I am glad I did, because this is a total keeper. It was so good! Really good! Good-good!!! Not only good, but EASY! Totally 'piece-of-cake' easy. The whole thing took me 20 minutes from start to finish. I am talking super-cinchy easy. Another bonus was that it was totally cheap to make, too. The whole dish was put together with stuff I always have in my pantry or fridge. Seriously, the only thing I had to do is get a loaf of French bread to go with it (and that was an optional choice).
The only small issue is that it is not very filling, but that could be a good thing. This would be a great soup to make during summertime, because it is not too heavy. If you are looking for a light and delicious dinner this is the soup for you. Also, it is even easy enough to whip up for lunch. Either way, I think this soup MUST be served with bread (preferably crusty, yummy French bread). I don't think it would have been half as satisfying if we did not have the bread to mop up the yummy liquid. Seriously, you need bread.
This recipe could easily be adjusted to be vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock (that is why I tagged it vegetarian). I am telling you...it is really, really, really good.
Overall, this was an awesome light dinner. I think I will definitely put it in rotation. I am very happy that I tried it!
Pasta & Co. Tomato Cheddar Soup
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
1 1/4 cups of water
1/2 cup of sour cream
8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
In a large 3 quart sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and their juices, stock, and water. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Add one-half of the sour cream. Whisk until well-blended, then add the remaining sour cream. Whisk until sour cream is combined. Stir in pepper and cheese to blend. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Gently reheat to serve (makes 6 cups).
I did make a couple of minor changes to the recipe; I amended the directions/ingredients to accommodate the differences.
First, I added some garlic. I love the flavor a little garlic lends to this dish. Then, I used whole canned tomatoes, and just chopped them myself in the can with a pair of kitchen scissors. To do this, you literally just snip the tomatoes in the can with your shears. It is really easy, and you get nice (albeit a little uneven) tomato chunks. If you want this to stay super-simple, just use the already diced tomatoes...there is really not a flavor difference. It just depends on how chunky you like your tomatoes.
The recipe notes indicate that this soup freezes really well. It is perfectly okay to make a big batch and freeze some of it.