Everyone's sick here... head colds, coughs, runny noses.
So it looks as though we'll be spending this sunny day in bed or on the couch.
Fortunately, I made a quick and easy tomato soup (with grilled cheese on the side, of course, because you can't have tomato soup without grilled cheese) so we have lunch already made, if nothing else.
Z-Man will need something else, as he made clear to us by going through the cookbooks and bringing to our attention the things he wanted to try.
The soup is too easy... just the thing when no one really feels like cooking.
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup garlic or cheese croutons, for serving
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar. Bring to a boil. Partially cover and cook over moderate heat until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree half of the soup in a blender or immerse a hand blender into the saucepan and pulse for a few minutes. Return to pot and add the half-and-half or cream and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and swirl in an additional 2 tablespoons of butter if desired.
Serve with croutons. Makes an excellent accompaniment for our Crispy Crab Cakes (page 8, Great Tastes — available as a free PDF download).