This soup is called Sidekick because it is the best sidekick to a grilled cheese sandwich. On the menu at our lunch counter in the San Francisco Ferry Building, also called Sidekick, it has many loyal fans. This soup relies on great tomatoes. We use canned organic San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. A big Cowgirl "thank you" to all the customers over the years who've asked us for this recipe. - Sue Conley & Peggy Smith (Co-Founders)
Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 16 oz cans organic tomatoes (or 4 1/2 cups peeled, chopped fresh)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary
1 cup Crème Fraîche
- Put a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil and allow it to hear. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves, plus 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and the onion is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes plus 2 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a simmer and then decrease the heat to medium-low. Add half of the minced rosemary and basil and simmer the soup over very low heat for about 2 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the remaining minced rosemary and basil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Use an immersion blender to make the mixture smooth; alternately purée the soup in a standard blender, in batches, if necessary. Strain the soup though a medium-mesh strainer, pressing the solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as you can. (Taste the soup and add more salt or minced rosemary or basil, if needed.)
- Garnish with Crème Fraîche and serve warm.