Otherwise known as soup even a soup-hater will love. I found this recipe several years ago when I started looking to expand our family's soup reportoire. It's a Food Network kitchens recipe that originally called for rendering bacon but honestly, I hate opening up a package of bacon only to take out an orphan slice or two. So I just eliminated it from the recipe and it's delicious as is. The first time I made the soup I noticed it was missing something to balance all the savory flavors so I added two teaspoons of honey. It's not an overt flavor but really rounds out the soup.
This recipe is so easy to throw together, then whiz with the immersion blender. Once you try it the first time I highly recommend you double the recipe as it freezes beautifully. How wonderful is it to pull out a frozen brick of soup on a cold wintry night to heat up without having to chop up a single vegetable?
Creamy Tomato Soup
adapted from Food Network
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth - I usually use bouillon or soup base if I'm out of freezer broth.
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes - 28 oz, in juice. I usually pick the basil packed tomatoes.
3 sprigs of italian parsley - I rarely have this on hand so I've usually skip it.
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons honey
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
First prep the herb bundle. I know some people tie up herbs with cheesecloth, I have some in an obscure corner of my kitchen too. Others prefer to tie up the herbs with kitchen twine. I've found that a large tea ball like this is roomy enough to hold most herb bundles and it's reusable. So just pack up the herbs tightly in the tea ball.
Close it tight and set it aside.
Over medium heat melt your butter. I know this looks like a lot but I was doubling the
Then add the carrots, onion and celery. Saute the vegetables, stirring for 5-8 minutes or until the onion and celery are softened.
Add the garlic and prepare for a whiff of the holidays to hit you in the face. I love that scent.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir the mixture often for about 2-3 minutes. You're making a simple roux here that will thicken the soup slightly. Don't fret though, since the soup is pureed at the end worrying about lumps is not necessary.
Once the flour has cooked for a bit, add the tomatoes. I chuck them in whole, again this is going to be pureed and I'm all about the easy.
Give it a stir. I know it looks pretty freaky at this point. Persevere. Taste is worth the work.
Add the broth (I'm using bouillon cubes) and be a little more coordinated than I am. I was so busy trying to focus on the water stream that about a cup full of water ended up on my stovetop.
Add the herbs.
Then the honey and salt.
Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and allow the soup to simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Once the soup has simmered don't forget to take out your herb bundle. Bonus tip. Splattering your backsplash with soup is the sign of a true cook.
Then blend the soup. You could do this in a blender but I banned traditional blenders from our home long ago. Never found one that actually worked and I've been fortunate so far to have avoided lusting over Vitamixes. I have found a love for my stick blender and love not having to transfer stuff to a cup to blend. Just puree it all until smooth.
And now it's time for the love. Slowly swirl in the cream and enjoy the spinart.
Look how smooth and velvety this is. None of that super tinny V-8ish flavor of canned tomato soup. Savory, balanced, well seasoned and smooth.
Just serve yourself a nice big bowl . . .
. . . but don't forget to add a little something-something. A hunk of fresh bread, some garlicky croutons or those wonderful warm breadsticks.