Friday, January 18, 2013

Fast Creamless Tomato Soup

Now that we have a sweet new baby in the house (!!!), let's just say that my cooking style has changed in these past 2 weeks.  Instead of my usual do-it-yourself type cooking, I'm now buying bread, granola, yogurt and tortillas.  (For now.  But I'll be back because everything's just so much tastier -- and cheaper -- made from scratch.)  But right now, I'm not looking for the best recipe per se but the fastest.   Luckily, fast can still be delicious.

I made this tomato soup one afternoon when we needed a quick lunch.  It only needs a few ingredients and didn't take long to make.   There's no cream in this tomato soup but a surprise ingredient is bread which I think gives it a good consistency.  Who would have guessed?  We like our soups on the chunkier side so I only partially blended our soup. 

Altogether, this made a fast and wonderful meal (especially with a grilled cheese sandwich). The leftovers were also great for lunch for the next couple days.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I probably only used about 2 Tbsp total)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I omitted)
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Mix in the tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes to break them down into smaller pieces (no bigger than 2 inches). Stir in the sugar and bread then bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Turn off the heat under the pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or, if you don't have one, in a traditional blender - you'll probably want to do it in 2 or 3 batches. Split the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the batches as you puree.) Blend to your preferred consistency (we like a chunkier soup) -- you can alsostrain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer if you want a perfectly smooth consistency. Stir the chicken broth into the soup and return the soup to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chives when serving.


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