Easy-on-Your-Wallet Tomato Soup

It’s definitely soup season. There’s no doubt about it. From blizzards in the North East to, okay, well the mid-west saw record-high temperatures recently (70s, low 80s, anyone?), but at least in Charlottesville, it’s cold. What better way to combat the chilliness than soup? Plus, another great plus about soup, you can make a lot and save it for later. Heck, you can even freeze some soups and reheat them months later. If you’re like me and you don’t have a  meal plan and you rarely go out to eat, then you can easily see how great soups are. (Even if you don’t fall into those categories, soups are still great.) That being said, I’ve been on the lookout for good, easy, and cheap soup recipes. As a college student, I don’t want to have to go out and buy all sorts of new (and sometimes expensive) spices for a soup I may only make once. Thankfully, I came across a great Martha Stewart recipe and added a bit more to it.  I made it after my last grocery store run and it is quite filling despite the few number of ingredients it calls for!

Soup's on! Photo taken by yours truly.
Soup’s on! Photo taken by yours truly.

Easy-on-your-Wallet Tomato Soup Recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

A splash of olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic medium cloves, minced

4 celery stalks, diced

1 28-oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes

A splash of milk

Pepper and other spices for seasoning

Optional: Your favorite cheese to garnish, parsley for garnish, etc.

  1. Put a splash olive oil in a pot and heat on medium.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add your garlic but don’t let it burn! Garlic cooks very quickly so you’ll want to keep an eye on it. Give your garlic no more than a minute before proceeding to the next step.
  4. Add the entire can of tomatoes (juice too!) and add your celery.
  5. Bring the pot to a boil.
  6. Optional: If there wasn’t much juice in the can, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until onions and celery are soft.
  8. Add a splash of milk. (For a thicker consistency, add heavy cream instead.)
  9. Either transfer the soup to a blender or use a soup stick to puree the soup. Be careful because the hot liquid may splash!
  10. Reheat as necessary and enjoy!

Tips and notes:

  • Transferring the hot soup into the blender can be quite dangerous! I highly recommend a Cuisinart Immersion Wand (or as my close family and friends call it, the Blender Stick). You may be like me and skeptical of the pressure to buy specialized kitchen gadgets (do people really need that cake pop maker or could they just use their oven?) but this really is a great kitchen staple. You simply stick the Immersion Wand into the pot filled with hot soup and it does the blending in the same pot. It’s not messy at all and incredibly easy to use.
Cuisinart Immersion Wands come in all sorts of colors. What fun! Image from Amazon.com
  • Since the immersion wand blender part may be smaller than the tomatoes you’re blending, you may find that putting the wand directly on top of a tomato and pressing the button works the easiest. Keep the holes on the side submerged so as not to spray soup everywhere. After you release your finger from the button, wait until the motor fully stops before picking up the Wand and setting it down again; You’ll minimize splatter this way.
  • Celery content. I’m not the biggest fan of raw celery. Hear me out: Raw celery tastes quite bitter to me. I used 4 stalks of celery in my recipe because, once cooked, I found that the celery added more zing and flavor to my soup. However, feel free to adjust the amount as needed, although I probably wouldn’t go beyond adding 6 stalks.

 

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