Cream of Tomato Soup

This is our go-to, ‘I have no clue what to do for dinner’ meal. What’s better than a bowl of creamy tomato soup with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich for dipping?

I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of the canned stuff but looking at the list of ingredients is startling. It’s also loaded with sodium. So although it does the trick in a pinch, I’ll now make my own.

I’ve tried a few different recipes but some tasted like a marinara sauce while others tasted more like a bowl of onions. A quick check of the web led me right to the source I should have checked first….yep, you guessed it. Ina Garten.

The soup starts with a hefty amount of red onions and carrots. IMG_0305.JPG
While they sweat, it was time to chop some tomatoes. A rough chop will do as they’ll breakdown, while the soup simmers.

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Add the chopped basil and sugar along with the chicken stock and a little tomato paste.

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As it starts to breakdown, add a little cream, salt and pepper. Give it a taste and add more salt, if necessary.

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At this point, you could run the soup through a food mill or strainer. I kind of liked the chunky factor so I opted to skip this step.

Make yourself a killer grilled cheese and dip away!!

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Ingredients
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish

Directions
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

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