Smoked Gouda Tomato Soup

One thing my grandmother-in-law, J, loves to do is go all out on dinner. However, one evening when she got home and Husband and I were already sitting in her kitchen, she gave us a weary look and said, “what do you think about making tomato soup and grilled cheese and sitting on the porch?” It was the most wonderful, comforting idea.

I wanted to recapture that day with my soup for the soup-and-bread potluck. I chose this recipe to start from: The description is great and there are pictures and clear instructions, but it’s also a simple soup as a jumping off point. I was at the point where I needed to off-load a large quantity of tomatoes again, so whereas a normal process would have included only a can opener, I spent a few minutes cutting away bad spots, thawing a half a bag of frozen tomatoes, and pulling a can from the basement. I mostly left the skins on, but wonder of wonders, when you thaw frozen tomatoes, the skins slide off like a dream, so I took the time to remove those at least; I think it helped with the overall consistency, even though my soup was definitely stringier than the average tomato soup.

Husband loves spice, and I was so busy with gingerbread and crusty peasant bread and the other soup I was making that I told him he could spice up the tomato soup if it was bland to him. Silly, silly cook, I am. The soup did turn out good, but fiery – his love for red pepper flakes shone through above the tasty garden tomato fullness and the italian spicing I had originally started with. We did still have enough basil to add some fresh leaves, so overall it worked.

With so many people bringing such ample quantities of soup, it is no wonder that we ended up with lots of leftover tomato; I finished it off at lunch with crusts of bread to help me through the spiciness. It isn’t quite like an evening on the back porch with J, but it still makes me smile.