Creamy Tomato Cheddar Soup
This soup is like a cross between tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. When I was interning in the public relations department at Oscar de la Renta in New York City there was a Hale and Hearty soup and sandwich shop right next door in Bryant Park. They served this amazing tomato cheddar soup but we didn’t really get a lunch break so I would have to sneak down to grab some to bring back up and eat at my desk. It was worth it. After I moved back to Los Angeles I was craving a bowl of it so I decided to come up with my own recipe for it.
For some reason the first time I decided to make my own tomato soup I was shocked by how easy it was. It doesn’t take very long, nor is it a hard process. Take pride in making your own and leave the condensed soup cans to Warhol.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ cup heavy cream
1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste then add the tomatoes with their liquid, chicken broth, thyme, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Discard the thyme then once cool to the touch, use a blender to puree the soup in batches until all of the soup is well blended. Return the mixture to the pot and slowly whisk in the cream and the Cheddar cheese. Continue to whisk until the cheese has completely melted and is thoroughly combined.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot.
Serves 6. Yields about 6 cups of soup.
Note: the soup can be made a day a head of time up to the addition of the cream and Cheddar cheese. Do that part day of serving.