Some days – actually, most days around here – it’s about using what you have on-hand to make something fulfilling and comforting. On the rare days where I can make a weekday soup, they’re usually whipped together with pantry items and fridge staples. Cans of things are thrown into a pot with some stock and sprigs of leftover herbs. If I’m lucky, time allows for a quick sandwich or tartine to go with.
I’ve been on a grilled cheese and tomato soup – or something that approximates them – kick. Since finding versions that pass muster in restaurants hasn’t been so easy, I’ve taken to making it for myself at home. Throwing together a couple cans of fire-roasted tomatoes and some broth makes for a 15 minute meal…and you can control the seasoning and spice level yourself. Pre-fab canned soup is unnecessary. I threw in the extra marjoram sprig I had in the fridge. It’s an herb I’m currently having a love affair with & it pairs well with things that have tartness or bitterness. It’s a lovely balance to the acid of the tomatoes. You should also give it a try with citrus-y things. Trust me.
In order to stretch a bit of homemade soup into a lunch for two, an easy sandwich or tartine is a great way to go. A half of a sandwich & a cup of soup is my ideal autumn lunch. Honestly, this sandwich came about as a vehicle for the last bit of tomato jam that Chris made for me. A slice or two of leftover Truffle Tremor, a random eggplant left in the fridge cut thinly and grilled and the final spoonful of this jam all melted together on a stray Ciabatta roll cut in half. There’s no measured recipe, per se – I’m really posting this as an inspiration for you to experiment with the last bits of things you have around the house. Now that we’re getting into the holiday season, I know there’s always a blob of cheese left from a cheese board, a vegetable too many that was purchased for a dinner recipe, and a bit of gifted jam or preserves that need to be scraped into something wonderful. It’s shame to let those items go to waste when they can be made into an tasty impromptu meal.
Tomato Marjoram Soup – serves 4-6 people
– In a heavy bottomed soup or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Saute the minced shallot until translucent but not brown – about 2 minutes. Add in the diced tomatoes & marjoram leaves and stir to combine. Heat through for 2-3 minutes then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. In a high-powered blender or using an immersion blender in the pot, puree the soup until smooth. In the pot you cooked with, add the heavy cream to the pureed soup and warm through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. This soup will keep for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed storage container in the fridge.