Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Just Your Basic Tomato Soup

It's cold and there are snow flurries. I'm feeling it in my bones and I need some comfort. Not many things make me happier than a nice bowl of soup and there are few soups better than a plain old tomato soup. Nothing fancy...just tomatoes, onions and broth. That's what's coming down for dinner tonight along with some homemade sourdough with toasted Le Gruyere.


2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 cups low-salt chicken broth ( I prefer Swanson)
1 quart of home canned plum tomatoes or 1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed (include the juice) try to find San Marzano tomatoes from Italy as they are as close as you'll find to home canned.
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a nonreactive 5- to 6-quart pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion  and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour to the onion and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. This will get the raw taste out of the flour.

Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprig. If you like it "chunky" its ready to go. If you like it smooth then use an immersion blender or  purée in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. If you used a blender or processor then return the soup to the pot and adjust the salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary.

Croutons, goat cheese, or parmesan  all make great garnishes. There is also nothing wrong with sprinkling a few Fritos on top either.

No need to mention grilled cheese sandwiches.

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