This is the soup that makes one call one's mother. At least, that is, if it happens to be the soup that your mom has had simmering on the stove the last umpty-eleven times you've rolled up to her house after a ten- or twelve- or sixteen-hour drive from your home in far-flung Oregon or Colorado. And that's helped sustain the hyperextended family through many a pre- or post-holiday meal. And that comes, originally, from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest
cookbook, inscribed to you from your dad lo these 20 (!) years ago. (My version has more and different sorts of tomatoes in it, plus two trifling bay leaves.)
It's simple, red, creamy and sustaining… much like love itself. (Awww.) Stir some up for your sweetie(s) today.
Sherried Tomato Soup
Serves four, no more.
1 Tbsp butter
1 large-ish onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (of course, as ever, fresh = better, but it was raining too hard last night for me to be at all interested in a 9 p.m. herb harvest)
1 tsp dried oregano (ditto)
Generous pinch each salt and ground black pepper
42 ounces (more or less) canned tomatoes, of any sort that suits your needs/pantry contents. Last night I used 1 can of stewed tomatoes, 1 of diced tomatoes and 1 of diced tomatoes with chiles.
1/4 cup dry sherry
Generous pinch of brown sugar
2 bay leaves
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat butter in a soup pot; add onion; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, one minute more.
Add tomatoes, sherry, sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer a goodly while, probably half an hour or so, until tomatoes break down nicely into a soupy consistency.
Increase heat to medium. Whisk in cream cheese. Stir faithfully until cheese is well melted and soup is delightfully creamy.
Serve with parsley sprinkled atop each bowl.
And though I'm not usually a fan of silly things like nutritional breakdowns, I apparently did the math on this recipe at some point (while trying valiantly to adhere to a points-based weight loss system). 150 calories per bowl, 8 grams fat, 8 grams fiber. Your heart will thank you, and it's very welcome.