This recipe is the kitchn's adaptation of Deborah Madison's recipe. I've made both, and I prefer this version with it's higher cream-to-tomato ratio. I'd also like to vouch for the baking sheet method of grilled cheese sandwich production for the crowd. Works like a charm!
Cream of Tomato Soup
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. cloves
4 Tbsp. flour
1 28-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1/8 tsp. baking soda
4 cups stock or water
2 cups milk*
salt + pepper
Step 1: Make it happen. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, cloves, and flour, cook another 2 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, baking soda, and stock. Simmer for ten minutes on medium-low heat.
Step 2: Remove from heat. If you are lucky enough to have an immersion blender, go to town. If not, carefully ladle half the soup into a blender. Remove the little cap from the lid and place a clean kitchen towel over it. Carefully blend for a few minutes, then pour into a large pot. Blend the second half of the soup and add to the pot. Stir in milk, season with salt and pepper, serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for a Crowd
makes as many as you need
For each sandwich:
+2 slices whole wheat bread
+1 slice Tillamook sharp cheddar
+1 Tbsp. butter
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you get a pot of soup simmering on the stove.
Step 2: Prep the sandwiches. Butter one side of each slice of bread, add cheese and any other condiments you like.
Step 3: Bake 'em. Arrange sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake for five minutes, flip, and bake another 5 minutes for a perfectly buttery-toasted accompaniment to cream of tomato soup.
* Vegans! You could totally skip the milk, or use soy/almond/coconut/rice milk, and earth balance or olive oil instead of butter to make this vegan.