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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.