Tomato Soup Done Right
Tomato soup. Is there anything better on a cold rainy day? I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a day to wear scarves and heavy wool socks. And when my family gets home from wherever this cold day has taken them, I want them to be welcomed home to cozy warmth. I spent the morning splitting firewood. I now have a fire in the fireplace and am enjoying a hot cup of tea. This afternoon is reserved for soup. Soup and, I think, the perfect grilled cheese sandwich (seriously, tomato soup and grilled cheese is the perfect combination).
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 56 oz canned whole tomatoes 2 cans (28 oz each)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2½ tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp basil paste
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper optional
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 8 leaves fresh basil finely chopped
- In dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted. Add onion and saute until onions are tender (approximately 8 minutes). Add garlic and saute additional 30 seconds.
- Add canned tomatoes (including juice), chicken stock, baking soda, and sugar (the baking soda helps neutralize some of the acidity from the canned tomatoes). Bring to a low simmer. Cook approximately 10-15 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Stir 1/4 cup of hot soup into the heavy cream to temper it.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in tempered heavy cream, thyme, celery seed, oregano, basil paste, and crushed red pepper (if using). Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or very carefully transfer soup to blender and blend until smooth).
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and top with fresh basil.
While It’s Cooking…
Did you know that for centuries tomatoes were thought to be poisonous? They come from the same family as the Deadly Nightshade and were thought poisonous into the 19th century. Actually, tomatoes are very good for you. They are high in vitamin C and vitamin A, high in water, and low in calories. They also contain antioxidants that help prevent heart disease (although the heavy cream and sodium in this recipe does counter the benefits somewhat). Learn more about the health benefits of tomatoes here.
Make it a Meal…
Pair tomato soup with a rustic french bread, grilled cheese sandwich, or a Caesar salad.
My favorite wine to serve with this is a somewhat nutty Italian white like a Terlato Family Vineyards Fruili Pinot Grigio 2017 ($24/bottle)