I made this one rainy day when my husband and I were in desperate need of some cheer. It definitely put smiles on our faces. As my husband reported close to the end of his second bowl, “I can say with confidence this is the best tomato soup I’ve ever had.” Aw, shucks.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c flour
4 c vegetable or chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 c milk (I used whole milk)
2 stalks celery (I used lots of celery leaves)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Cheese & croutons (optional)
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes or until soft & clear; sprinkle in flour and stir constantly until fully absorbed. Stir in stock. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, black pepper, Italian seasonings, and crushed red pepper, if using. Stir until fully combined. Allow soup to come to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes over medium to low heat. Stir in milk slowly, allowing soup to come to a simmer again. Season with salt to taste. Using a blender or food processor*, puree soup with uncooked celery until desired consistency is reached. Return to pot and reheat soup, if necessary. Ladle soup into ovensafe bowls and cover with croutons and cheese, if using. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is browned. Serve immediately.
*I had to do this 3 ladles at a time; the soup splashes up quite a bit when you start the blender/food processor, FYI. Also, make sure to vent it a little bit because the soup is hot & the pressure causes explosions all over your kitchen.