Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Today was a good day.  I spent lunch time with the kids and staff of Kelly Elementary where everything is getting mostly back to normal after the school shooting last week (I wrote about it here).  Helping the kids to feel comfortable on the field again was a group of lovely people who brought their therapy dogs, Oz - a giant loveable newfoundland, Izzy - one of the sweetest golden retrievers I've ever met, and Anastasia - a blonde lab who loves to give kisses.

Anastasia giving healing kisses!
Izzy's handler brought an entourage of kids to the field where the shooting occurred and no less than 30 kids conquered their fears as they queued up to throw her sticky tennis ball.  She ran so hard that she eventually slowly loped down the field, picked up the ball and with a backwards glance proceeded to walk 10 feet in the opposite direction only to plop down with her tongue hanging to the side and all the kids laughing and yelling for her to come back.

No amount of thanks is enough for these people who donated their energies and time to help our kids.  Each one patiently talking to all ages of children, listening where appropriate and gently coaxing them to return to some sense of normalcy.  Truly a gift.

Oz... taking a break!
On returning home, with my husband asking if there was anything for lunch, I was thrilled to have homemade tomato soup ready and waiting (an unusual moment of preparedness!).  A side of grilled cheese perfectly complemented the roasted tomato flavors which were enhanced with aromatic garlic and onions.  A few tablespoons of cream stirred in at the last minute added a nice creaminess.  A dollop of pesto and a sprinkle of salty Parmesan Crisps made for a perfectly satisfying afternoon meal on our chilly and gray, but very happy day.

Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

4 lbs tomatoes, cut into quarters
6 garlic cloves, separated but unpeeled
olive oil to drizzle
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs butter
1½ cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2-3 Tbs cream or half and half
1-3 shakes of tobasco (optional... a must for my "it must have spice" husband!)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Layer a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange tomatoes, cut sides up.  Add garlic to pan.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast tomatoes and garlic 45 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.  When tomatoes are cool remove the skins and peel garlic. 

Cook onion in butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add peeled tomatoes and garlic, honey and stock and simmer 20 minutes.
Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) or use a  "stick" blender to puree in the pot.  Stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with crushed Parmesan Crisps and a dollop of pesto if desired. 

Parmesan Crisps

1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs all purpose flour

Mix cheese and flour.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.  Place 3 Tbs of the cheese flour mixture on the mat and pat into a flat round.  Repeat with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes, watching closely.  Allow to cool on the mat for 2 minutes then remove, carefully, to a rack to cool completely.

Kelly Elementary heals...


  1. Dogs are the best therapy. Your pictures made me tear up and I hope that these animals could make the kids feel a little better after this terrible ordeal.

    Your soup looks beautiful and the parmesan crisp fits perfectly. Certainly a great soup when comfort is needed.

  2. Ohmygosh I love the puppies, especially the kissy faces ones. So cute! Those animals are truly just amazing creatures, people don't give them enough credit.

    Your soup looks awesome! I love tomato soup, it is by far my favorite soup...and the parmesan crisps are the perfect addition to this. Little crunch for the creamy soup

  3. The soup sounds lovely! Beautiful photos!

  4. we had a German Shepard, loved to give kisses and my husband always teased me "Wolfie gives the best kisses". Dogs are great for cheering anf healing.
    Love the soup and the pictures.

  5. Looks like a wonderful, satisfying meal. Glad to hear that things are returning to some semblance of normalcy.

  6. colourful soup lovely addition of honey

  7. Very gorgeous dogs!! So happy they helped the children get over their fears!! What a wonderful idea!

    The soup looks amazing!! The first time I made a soup and grilled cheese combo it went down a treat- well one child ate the soup, another ate the sandwich and the baby drank it up in milk form ;) That's a success with the kids in my book!! Soup can be quick and easy so perfect for me!! Thanks for posting this!!!

  8. ah how comforting the soup is! love it :)

  9. Therapy dogs can work wonders with people and interact with them to make them feel at ease. My father is in a nursing home, and they bring in therapy dogs for the residents to play with.

    Your soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day lunch.

  10. that soup looks so good:) thank you for sharing this..and the parmesan crisp adds a lovely touch!

  11. For the dogs awwwwwww. For the soup yummmm. I tried to do the parmesan crisp once and it was a flop. Didn't work. Yours look gorgeous. Good job.

  12. Your pictures of the dogs are so cute! The soup sounds delicious, I'm a little bit of a soup junkie and tomato soup might be on the menu tonight.

  13. What a beautiful, and hearty soup. I love tomato soup. This is a yummy recipe, and also with the Parmesan crisp. Your dogs are so beautiful, and the photos too! Thanks for sharing your personal well!

  14. OMG, I want to take Oz home. I saw him earlier in the week, but can you imagine how much space he would take in a home! So cute and I'm sure the tomato soup is good too!

  15. How great that the kids got to relieve some stress and play with those sweet dogs. They're so soothing!

    That soup looks like great comfort food, too. I love the addition of the Parmesan crisps!

  16. That breaks my heart that those kids face fear about going to school. It also makes my eyes tear up knowing the fear that the parents (YOU) must go through every day.

    That's awesome that there were people that gave their time and dogs to help everyone heal.

    I hope you all are doing as well as can be expected. It's amazing how animals can help healing in many ways.

    Talk about comfort food! Tomato soup and parmesean crisps! Yum. Just plain yum. And I have some tomatoes that have actually turned red. :) So guess what.

    I'm going to shock my family and make tomato soup from scratch next time I say we're having grilled cheese and tomato soup. :) I've never made it from scratch before.

  17. the soup looks delicious. complimented w. Parmesan crisps, lovely!

    glad to know that the kids are doing well.

  18. What a touching story. You are so awesome to help. That dog is so, so adorable :) I've already started asking/begging my husband for a puppy for Christmas. Dogs are the best. And that soup looks like the perfect comfort food for what I can assume to be a fairly emotionally exhausting morning. Those parmesan chips put it over the top!

  19. Dogs can do so much to heal hurts. That was a great thing those handlers did for the kids.

    The soup looks amazing. I love the addition of the parmesan crisps...yum!!

  20. That's neat, therapy animals can do amazing things, and a good tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich is my go to comfort food!

  21. omg that's a sad incident. i'm glad everyone is okay..

    I love tomato soup. I make it often but not with a silky smooth soup. I should have used a blender more often huh? I also love the parmesan crisp!

  22. I've never been a big fan of tomato soup, but this recipe is starting to make me think about that.

    I'm sad to hear the story about the school shooting but on the other happy to hear about how the kid's fears are being helped. The dogs looked like fun!


  23. The story was beautiful and it is amazing the healing powers that a dog can possess. I am new to your blog and will be following now! Thank you!


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