This stuff is so much better than canned soup. If you don’t have a Parmesan cheese rind, Kroger sells containers of rinds in the fine cheese area. Those rinds are small & kind of fussy to pick out of the soup, though. I’d rather buy a wedge of real-deal Parmesan & use the rind from that, saving the rest for grating. Look for Parmesan with a tan edge on which is stamped the name of the cheese — that tan edge is the rind.
In a large saucepan, sauté 1 chopped yellow onion in 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Add 5 sliced cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, a generous pinch of salt, & freshly ground pepper. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring periodically.
Add 2 28-oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes & 1 cup water or vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Toss in the rind of a chunk of Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer, & let soup bubble gently for 30 minutes. (Stir every so often, scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure the cheese rind isn’t sticking to it.) Fish out the Parmesan rind & discard.
Purée in the pot with an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a blender container (no more than half full at a time), & purée. Check for seasoning & add more salt & pepper if necessary. Top each serving with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you want.
(Of course you’re going to want a grilled cheese sandwich with this! Make it while the finished soup cools a bit.)
Recipe adapted from the New York Times.