Have you ever been to a restaurant and order the special of the day only to find yourself craving it later? Of course, it's not a regular item and the chances of the restaurant having it when your craving kicks are pretty slim. That's how my evening began. My husband and son were out of town for a chess tournament, so it was just me and my mini-me. After taking in a movie and spending a little time at the mall, my daughter and I returned home. As dinner time approached, my wheels started cranking as I tried to decide what to make for dinner. All I could think was "I could really go for that spicy tomato soup and grilled cheese I had the other day." I did not feel like driving into the city to the little tavern where I had this delicious soup during a daytime lunch date with my husband. I knew they wouldn't have it anyway. Besides, even if they did have that same special (which I'm sure they wouldn't), it would cost me $25 for soup and sandwiches for me and daughter. We had already splurged on a movie and lunch, I thought I really need to find something at the house. After a quick glance around on Pinterest to see if anyone had a recipe that sounded good, I came up empty handed. How hard could it be to make this? Not very. So I went to the kitchen to examine my pantry to see what items I had to work with. About 15 minutes later, I had a very delicious and spicy tomato soup. It was very similar to what I had at the restaurant and it used items I already had.
Spicy Tomato Soup
1/2 a small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (you can add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes in juices)
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
Croutons and Parmesan (or bleu cheese crumbles) to top
In a medium-size sauce pan, heat olive oil. Sautee onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes together until translucent. Add whole tomatoes, seasonings, and heavy cream. Using a immersion blender, puree ingredients together until smooth. If you do not have a immersion blender, you can use a standard blender too. Simmer soup about 10 minutes.
Top with croutons and cheese before serving. It was delicious and complimented a gooey grilled cheese very well!
This soup was a great substitute to the tavern special I had and cost way less than it would have if I would have ordered it at a restaurant.