The cold wakes me long before my alarm rings. It has seeped into my consciousness, like a thousand tiny needles of discomfort. There’s a pearl of cold moisture dripping from my nose. My hands ache, their skin tight, and dry, peppered with a thousand painful little nicks and cracks. Even my nipples are protesting, rubbing painfully against my cotton t-shirt. I burrow deeper into my bed, reaching for a warmth that is not there. I know, without opening my eyes, that I’ll be able to see my breath hovering before me in the early morning light of my bedroom.
- Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter until melted.
- Add the onions and saute until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Pour in the fire roasted tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and mix well. Pour in the tomato juice. Bring back to a boil.
- Now taste the soup to assess the acidity. Every batch of tomatoes is different and you may need a little more sugar at this point if the soup still tastes really acidic. You’ll know when you have it right. Add more sugar one tablespoon at a time to not go from acidic to too sweet all at once.
- Pour in the sherry and bring back to a boil. I like to boil away the boozy taste that comes from the alcohol, leaving behind just the savory sweetness of sherry. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Before serving, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. If you were really in the mood for a special treat, you could serve this soup with some warm corn bread for dunking. That may be my coping strategy for this afternoon if the heat man doesn’t arrive soon.