Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homemade Tomato Soup

Hungry for tomato soup where you can taste more than canned, milky tomato paste? Try it homemade. Adding broth and allowing fresh herbs to steep in the mix embolden the flavor; flecks of real tomato flesh fill the texture void. Smoothed out by a creamy finish, it ends lightly on the pallet and replenishes an empty growling stomach. Ideal for snow days and chilly nights, homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese side-by-side is a classic childhood meal. Only now, we’ve grown up and grown out of the Campbell’s kind.

Sure, Campbell’s still has the pop-top can. But at the end of the meal that’s a one trick pony headed for retirement. Homemade tomato soup teeters the edge between being a lighter, broth-based soup and a thick and heavy, creamy one. It sure can walk the line. One ‘taste test’ easily becomes a sampling of nearly half the soup before it makes its way into a bowl. Once it did make it to the bowl, the surface shimmered like buttery gold on a red sea. Dunking toasted grilled cheese into the soft red soup struck all the right cords. A creamy tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese oozing gooey American cheese was the climax of the meal, and maybe even the week.
After a bowl I’ll bet the Campbell’s kind will start to taste like ketchup with a faint metallic tin finish.

Tomato Soup
4 T butter
1 whole onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans [14.5 oz] diced tomatoes
40+ oz tomato juice [use your discretion]
Salt and pepper
Fresh sprigs of basil, rosemary, thyme
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup whipping cream
1. In a large pot, melt butter until bubbly over medium high heat.
2. Add finely diced onions and garlic, saut̩ until translucent Рabout 5-7 min.
3. Remove pot from heat; add tomatoes to help onions cool.
4. Put all contents of pot into blender or food processor, blend.
5. Reintroduce mixture back to pot. Add a good amount of tomato juice [**how much you add depends on how thick you want the texture to be**]
6. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs then add chicken broth.
7. Bring this to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Reduce liquids to desired thickness.
8. Add whipping cream and heat until warm.
9. Garnish with fresh sprig of basil if desired.

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