Today is a perfect late winter day. A tromp to the barn with birds singing and sunshine glittering against frost-covered trees — entirely satisfying.
I need to make lunch but there’s no rush. This morning I counted to see which home canned goods we’re going through more quickly than others. We’ve been piling through salsa, zacusca, and applesauce the most. But we still have a a few dozen quarts of marinara made with our tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions. I grab a jar, knowing soup will be on in minutes.
There are lots of ways to transform tomato sauce or marinara into tomato soup. If you’re using plain tomato sauce, add a pinch or two of basil, oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. If you’re using marinara or spaghetti sauce, no need unless you’d like some extra kick.
Then pour your tomato sauce of choice into a saucepan. If you’re using a quart, add 1 tablespoon salt, if you’re using a pint add a half tablespoon.
Fill the sauce jar about a third of the way full with half-and-half (or for a really good soup, use all heavy cream) — basically close to a ratio of three parts sauce to one part cream. You might want to add more cream to taste. (Yes, you can use milk or soymilk or almond milk, it’ll just be less rich and more watery.)
Heat to a simmer but do not boil. Taste. If you’d like, garnish with croutons, fresh herbs, and/or some hefty shavings of Romano or Parmesan cheese. Yum.