You know what it is – another day of finding small comforts that ease our minds and hearts. It’s ok. We’re up to the task.
This week my comforts have been slowly consuming last week’s Strawberry Pie at the start – yes, start – of almost every meal. Dessert first: a classic, rule-breaking comfort. And gosh… there are so many rules these days, maybe this is my attempt to assert myself. Harmless, really.
Today’s offering is another classic comfort. I know you can just smell this creamy tomato soup at the mere mention of it. It’s everything you want it to be – bright and sweet with tomatoes and carrots, creamy and smooth, perfectly paired with last week’s French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Take good care this weekend! I feel like this soup is a direct path in that direction.
If tomato soup isn’t you thing, maybe one of these will suit your fancy:
• Carrot Coconut Red Curry Soup (My friend Megan just told me she adds miso)
• Smoky Black Bean Soup (I made this soup when I first moved into my house and it’s funny to see the images.)
Here’s what you’ll need:
• Carrots and onions, diced to saute. You can add celery if you happen to have it and it happens to be wilting in your refrigerator.
• Butter and olive oil. I love the rich flavor that butter adds to the soup and the olive oil helps the butter not burn as the vegetables saute.
• Red wine vinegar to brighten the soup.
• Tomato paste to make the soup extra tomato wealthy.
• All-purpose flour to thicken the soup though if you don’t have it or don’t want to add it to the soup, just simmer the soup down to your desired thickness. I think the flour thickens the soup to a velvet texture, that’s why I use it.
• Two cans of whole, peeled tomatoes and their juice.
• Whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream to help the soup resemble the most comforting velvet.
Star by melting the butter and oil and sautéing the onions and carrots with a bit of salt and pepper
Soften the onions to translucent and the carrots just a bit. Stir in the vinegar. It will steam and fuss and cook off a bit.
Stir in the flour until it disappears into the vegetables.
Stir in the tomato paste until it thickly coats everything in the pan.
Stir in chicken or vegetable stock. If you added flour, you’ll notice the broth thicken slightly as it heats.
Add a bay leaf, too!
Now is when we’ll add all of the glorious canned tomatoes. I add them with clean hands, squeezing them through my hands to break them up into pieces as they go into the pot.
Bring the soup to a simmer to soften the vegetables and meld the flavors.
If you’d like to add anything else like fresh thyme or basil, you’re welcome to!
Use an immersion blender to smooth the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, this can be done in batches in a regular blender. Just be sure not to fill the blender too much and to place a towel over the lid before starting the big whirly machine.
Add cream and additional seasoning to taste.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches because that’s really the only way.
Photos with my friend Jon Melendez.Print
Simple and Creamy Tomato Soup
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (salted or unsalted)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
- course sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- splash of red wine vinegar (just over 1 tablespoon or so)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 (28-ounces) cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 1/2– 3/4 cup whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
- In a large heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add olive oil, carrot and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent and the carrots are well on their way to softening, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the splash of vinegar at stir until cooked off.
- Turn flame to low and add flour. Stir into the onion and carrots. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to distribute the paste and cook off the flour taste.
- Add broth and bay leaf.
- With clean hands add the tomatoes to the pot, breaking the whole tomatoes up with your hands as you add the tomatoes and the juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Using an emulsion blender, puree soup in pot until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Maybe you like more chunks than some folks! If you don’t have an emulsion blender, let the soup cool for about 30 minutes and, working in two or three batches, puree some of the soup in a conventional blender until smooth. Place pureed soup in a bowl and puree the remainder in the pot.
- Return pureed soup to the pot and stir in milk or cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let cool to room temperature before dividing among airtight containers or jars (leaving 1 inch of space at the top) and freeze.
- Serving Size: 6