Hot soup: Summer in the city

As a person living in a large, wealthy city who is in good health and gets paid enough to live comfortably, problems can be difficult to come by. That is why you’ve got to jump on things and complain abut them as much as possible when they do come along. Why is public transport so slow? Why is it raining the weekend I decide to sleep in a tent and go tramping? WHY WILL THAT BIT OF HAIR NOT STOP STICKING UP? Most importantly, why do I have to cook dinner every night and make lunch every day when I am too lazy and hungry to come home and do so? I hate to admit it, but this truly is the biggest and most pressing problem in my life right now. In an attempt to partially counteract it, I spent 2 entire days making giant batches of soup and freezing them for those days where I need lunch but am too lazy to make it the night before (ie almost every day). This is one of those soups

Tomato and Basil soup (taken from http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com.au/2007/02/get-well-quickly-tomato-soup.html)
800g canned, crushed tomatoes
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 decent handful of fresh basil, chopped/torn
1/4 of an onion diced
One celery stick, diced
One carrot, diced
2 pieces of cooked bacon (optional)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of cream
3 tablespoons of hard cheese such as Parmigiana, Romano or Asiago, grated

Separate garlic into cloves, don’t peel but rub off papery bits. Place cloves on piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap and place in oven at 150 degrees celcius for an hour
Sweat onions (heat on low with the lid on), celery, carrot and one piece of bacon I (if using, I didn’t) in butter for 15 minutes
Add tomatoes, sugar and basil and other piece of bacon to pot
Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for half an hour
Take roasted garlic out of oven, and add to tomato mixture as many cloves as you like
Stir in cheese
Simmer, covered for another half hour
Turn off heat and let cool
Puree tomato mixture until smooth
Stir in cream (you can use more than two cups for a thinner soup)
Serve with crusty bread (and if you don’t feel well, you can spread more roasted garlic on the bread).

Lately I’ve been getting a bit better at improvising and tweaking recipes a bit but as this is from the Homesick Texan I took the recipe as gospel and didn’t change it much at all. Because that would be like walking up to Jamie Oliver and trying to lecture him on olive oil.

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