It's hard to replicate the happiness I feel on a cold fall day with a warm bowl of delicious soup. It's just confirms my love for this season and the fact that I could never move somewhere too far south where you don't get true autumn months.
My idea for this soup actually came from a co-worker. We were ordering from Hale & Hearty during one of our meetings, and she said I really should try the tomato cheddar soup. I'm not the biggest fan of tomato soup myself, or at least I never used to be. This Hale & Hearty soup was seriously incredible and is definitely enough to convert tomato disbelievers.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup whole milk, cream or half-and-half (I went for milk, the least fatty option of the 3)
2 cups sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat 3 cups chicken stock. I prefer homemade of course but whatever is easiest.
2. In a medium sized saute pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. Add celery, onion, garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. You can also add flour here, which will ultimately make the soup a bit more thick.
3. Add the sauteed vegetables to the broth. Next add 2 cans of tomatoes including the juice and the thyme, stirring well.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. After approximately 25 minutes, remove the thyme stem and puree the soup mixture with a blender. Make sure to do this in several batches to guarantee the soup is well blended.
6. Return to the pot and add milk and cheese, and heat until the cheese is melted well. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cheese before serving.
Aren't the fall months just the greatest?