Cheesy Tomato Soup: A Love Story

Under any other circumstances, it might have been a very long winter, devoid of Summer's coveted ripe tomatoes and quite possibly, the very reason for my being. If it weren't for the bottom shelf of the canned food section in the supermarket next door, glowing like a beacon of light, I may never have found the San Marzano tomatoes, $1.79 for a 28-ounce can, and lovely in soups and stews, tomato sauces and more. Try them, you won't be sorry. So, I did, again and again, never pausing too long to long for a juicy plum or ripe vine treat. All winter long, I returned to that beacon of light, and reaped the benefits, in the form of this cheesy tomato soup. And so the love story begins...

Cheesy Tomato Soup
(Adapted from Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)

1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, pureed in a blender or food processor
3 tbs. dry sherry
1 tsp. honey
4 oz./half a block or cream cheese

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add onion, garlic, salt, herbs and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft (~10 minutes). Add tomatoes, sherry, and honey. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully remove bay leaf. Cut cream cheese into pieces and drop into the hot soup. Stir until smooth. Serve hot with good bread and a big salad. 

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