Homemade Tomato Soup

Even though its the dead of winter and snow covers the ground, we enjoyed a flavorful homemade tomato soup for dinner tonight.  There’s no way fresh tomatoes found at the grocery store this time of the year could carry a meal like this, so I’m grateful for the many pints of organic heirloom tomatoes I preserved last fall.  The work I put into these precious jars several months ago paid off tonight.  The tomatoes had a bright and earthy flavor, and as I made this quick soup I thought about flip-flops and my neighborhood farmers market and sunshine.  Such a treat for a cold January night!

My Homemade Tomato Soup

2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped white onion
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 pints whole peeled tomatoes (32 oz)
1 1/2 cups water (homemade vegetable broth would be good, too!)
A few good shakes of oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Salt, pepper

Melt one tablespoon butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 5-6 minutes.  Add tomatoes, water, oregano, pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper.  Bring to a low boil and cook until tomatoes are broken up, about 5 minutes.  Drop in final two tablespoons of butter and stir well.

Remove pot from heat.  Puree in batches in a blender, or avoid the potential mess and hot splatters and use a hand-held immersion blender instead. Serve with a homemade grilled cheese sandwich for maximum deliciousness.

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