Tomato soup is up there with chicken noodle soup as one of the most popular soups (not to mention kid-friendly) around. There are lots of ways to season up a good tomato soup, but sometimes you just want the classic—bursting with tomato flavor, silky smooth, and not complicated by much else. This is that soup. Perfect is this paired with a great grilled cheese sandwich.
The combination of fresh and canned tomatoes provides a nice balance of richness and freshness. You could use all fresh tomatoes in the summer, when tomatoes are at their ripe, red best, or in the winter you could use all canned. Canned are always better in any cooked preparation than under-ripe, out of season tomatoes.
If you have to use less-than-beautifully ripe tomatoes, you could consider roasting them first. The heat of the roasting process concentrates the natural sugar in the tomatoes, and the little pinch of sugar helps that along.
And as a by the way—tomato soup, as it’s cooking, can blurp and bubble, and every time I don’t wear an apron I regret it, ending up with little pink speckled all over what I am dressed in. This is great served with a sprinkle of Parmesan (I love those super thin shard you can buy or get by using a vegetable peeler and a block of Parm). Some fresh herbs on top are also lovely. Try basil or oregano or if you can find it, chervil. Use vegetable broth and you will have a vegetable soup. Skip the Parm and the soup is vegan.
There are lots of ways to season up a good tomato soup, but sometimes you just want the classic – bursting with tomato flavor, silky smooth, and not complicated by much else. This is that soup.Tweet This
An immersion blender is a wonderful tool to have around, especially if you like to make smooth soups and sauces often. The immersion blender is the opposite of the one-off tool. It’s a blender on a stick that you can put right into a mixture, hot or cold, press a button, stir it around, and purée the whole shebang. It saves you the pain and potential suffering of transferring hot soups to a blender to puree, and that pays for the immersion or stick blender over and over again.
A decent immersion blender can be bought for like 30 bucks—money well spent. All of this is to say, buy one, if you use your food processor or blender regularly, and you’ll find yourself reaching for it often.
Still thinking about soup? Me, too.
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Perfect Tomato Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large tomatoes seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh oregano basil, or other herb to serve (optional)
- Grated Parmesan to serve optional
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes, until they start to soften, but don’t let them brown. Add the carrots and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more, not allowing the vegetables to brown.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, 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.
- Either use an immersion blender (see recipe intro) to puree the soup until smooth right in the pot, or very carefully transfer the soup in batches to a food processor blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Serve hot.
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