Looks like we’re here again. It’s been eight months since I last posted on ye olde blog. It’s been 12 months since I decided I’d pick this blogging thing up — again. But here I am — again.
I could spout so many words about how craaaazyyyy life has been, however true that may be. And I will.
I just wrapped up my fifth (and, possibly, best) semester of college. It was wonderful, truly. I have always heard that upper-level college students have it best because, at that point, classes are mostly major-related and, therefore, interesting to said students. This was me this semester.
This semester affirmed that I really do love being a journalism major. It also affirmed my love of food (duh) and honed my knack for accumulating useless information, i.e. my nosiness. This semester I learned from some fantastic, encouraging educators who gave me tons of support, insight and life lessons.
But, as I said, this semester has been exhaustingly busy. I’ve met weekly deadlines and attended meetings; done lots of reading and writing; worked busy weekends at the restaurant; and sometimes made time for friends and sleeping. I’m proud of what I accomplished this semester, but now it’s time for a long nap, a bowl of tomato soup and some gear switching.
I leave for a semester abroad in Italy in less than a month — more on that soon. When I return, I hope to spend my summer interning with a magazine. Then, I’ll head back to Tuscaloosa for my final year of undergrad. The time really is flying.
Until then, I’m nestled at home in the Mississippi Delta, reading and writing some and cooking lots. The weather’s been a bit bleak here lately, which provided inspo for this delicious, comfy tomato soup.
Now, I know everyone who likes tomato soup has a favorite recipe – be it from a Campbell’s can or from your Spanish grandmother. I had a favorite, too, until I tried this recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit. The very necessary part of this recipe is the San Marzano tomatoes. You can find them in almost any grocery store; just look for the label. Otherwise, all you need to enjoy this soup is a cloudy December day, and if you’re wise, a grilled cheese.
Comfy Tomato Soup
adapted from Bon Appetit serves 4
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots or 1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery or 1 small fennel bulb, diced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half, plus more to taste
kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
chopped chives or basil, for garnish
serve with: grilled cheese 😉
1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots or onions and celery or fennel and saute until translucent and soft.
2. Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne pepper and stir. Add crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Stir. Lower heat and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until slightly reduced.
3. Stir in sugar and half-and-half. Blend in blender or food processor until totally blended. Taste, and add salt and pepper. Garnish with chives or basil, if desired.