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Tomato Soup

November 13, 2011

It’s that time of the year: soup season.  It fits my style of cooking…combine the available ingredients, simmer, taste, simmer & enjoy.  I prefer not to rush the process, & unfortunately, I prefer not to use the crock pot for soups.  I just don’t feel like you can get the right flavor without the occasional stir & the lid off.  I need to get over that soon because the crock pot is a wonderful tool.

Anyway, today I have homemade tomato soup.  I keep meaning to make this soup using fresh tomatoes and roasting them first.  It seems like a lot of work, and I really like my method just fine.  Because the soup is all about the tomato flavor, I like to use San Marzano canned tomatoes.  I’ll then add an extra can of regular diced tomatoes, preferably Italian-style or fire-roasted.  Fresh basil would be great, but I don’t always have it this time of the year.  And I keep those mini cans of V8 juice for soup (hence the weird size), but you can adjust the amount of that, and the broth, to taste.

Because I cook this in a dutch oven, I am able to use my immersion blender to puree the soup right inside the pot.  It is super easy, but it is not a requirement.  You can transfer to a blender or food processor in batches.  Also, I use fat free half-n-half, but if you were eating this in a restaurant you would surely be getting heavy cream (so, it’s you’re choice at home).  My last note, my husband & I ate at a restaurant in Louisville many moons ago that served tomato soup with a flaky pastry topping.  I have tried to re-create that dish without success.  I will eventually, but in the meantime, this soup can be complimented with a flaky roll or grilled cheese, of course.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 – 2 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
5.5oz low-sodium V8 juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp sugar
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
1-2 cups fat-free half-n-half, to taste
shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste

Directions

  • In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion & carrot, cook until soft, about 10 min.  Add garlic & crushed red pepper; cook 1 min longer.
  • Add tomatoes, broth, V8 juice & tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer 30-40 min.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until mostly smooth.
  • Add half-n-half; simmer a few minutes more.  Season to taste; add parsley.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.
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