It is debatable which tastes better with a grilled cheese sandwich on a summer afternoon, thick tomato soup or creamy mushroom soup. There is no reason to choose when you can have both. This hearty recipe--based on a fresh tomato soup recipe from The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook--combines the tartness of ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden with the earthy goodness of mushrooms, for a delicious meal in one steaming bowl. (This recipe fills six large sized bowls.)
Combine the tomatoes, cloves and onions with the vegetable broth in a large stockpot. Bring it to a boil and simmer for around 30 minutes to combine flavors and reduce the liquid.
Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature before running it through a blender to puree until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
Use the empty stock pot to sauté garlic and mushrooms in the butter for one or two minutes (just enough to soften them without overcooking). Remove the garlic and mushrooms from the butter, and set aside temporarily in a medium sized bowl.
Add the flour to the hot butter and stir to make a roux (a thick fat and flour paste used as a base for sauces). Continue cooking and stirring until the roux is lightly browned.
Whisk in some of the tomato mixture gradually (to prevent forming lumps) to thin the roux. Keep adding the tomato mixture and whisking until all the tomato mix is added and the soup is creamy and smooth.
Put the garlic and mushrooms into the tomato soup and bring it back up to serving temperature. Stir in sugar, salt, pepper and herbs and simmer for a few minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Pour into bowls and garnish with a sprig of basil or parsley, or add a few croutons and serve hot.