A small amount of cream turns a pot of simple tomato soup into a creamy, lush, pretty-pink tomato soup experience. You can add cream to basically any tomato soup recipe, to make it a creamier version of itself. This recipe uses only canned tomatoes, which means you can make it any time of year, and not have to wait for that magical perfect tomato time at the end of the summer.
You probably have all of the ingredients on hand, except perhaps the cream and the saffron. Saffron is the priciest spice of all, and with good reason. Saffron threads are the stamens that come from from the flower of a type of crocus which only grow in some parts of the world (Iran and Spain are two big producers), the harvesting process is laborious, and the flowers are rather stingy with their threads. Each flower, which blooms for one week of the year, produces three to four stamens which must be carefully hand-picked, and then dried.
The flavor? Kind of ethereal and hard to describe, but it makes dishes taste rich and just amazingly delicious. You can skip it an have a lovely ream of tomato soup, but add it and become a saffron-convert.
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 35-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste optional
- ¼ teaspoons saffron threads
- ⅔ cups heavy cream
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- Add the canned tomatoes, broth, and tomato paste to the pot, turn the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to gently simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, and make sure to heat through. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Serve hot.
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