Sunday, February 3, 2008
Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
So I recently joined America's Test Kitchen's Recipe Testing "club." The first recipe came this week and it happened to be a soup recipe, so thought this was perfect for another submission for January!
This "club" is great, because it gives you the opportunity to test recipes, but with no obligation - if you don't have time this week, you don't do it. If you have time, but can't give them a response within a week, then you do it a week later. It's perfect for me, cuz I don't know if I will have the time, but I love to cook, so it's fun for me.
Now I will say that Tomato Soup is definitely not my favorite soup and I'm not really sure that I've ever really had a cup or bowl before, but I remember my Gram having it way back in the day with some Saltines (I'll have to verify whether that is true or some made-up memory! haha), but I definitely know she likes it (she just had a cup of it this afternoon when she stopped over with Mom & Dad to see the 4 trees we took down =).
I don't know if the recipe will change from the testing recipe, but here it is:
Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 6 to 8
The goal of this recipe was to create a velvety smooth and creamy tomato soup using only ingredients found in the pantry.
If half of the soup fills your blender by more than two-thirds then process the soup in three bathes. A hand blender can be used in place of a regular blender to blend soup directly in pot. Serve this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches or topped with croutons (recipe follows). Crushed tomatoes can be used in place of the whole tomatoes.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped medium (about 3/4 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 large slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, slices torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Table salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bay leaf and tomatoes. Using spoon, press tomatoes against side of pot to release their juices. Stir in sugar and bread. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread is completely saturated and is starting to break down, about 5 minutes.
2. Transfer half of soup to blender and blend until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth; bring soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls, sprinkling each portion with black pepper and chopped chives, and drizzling with olive oil.
There is also a recipe for Croutons, but I didn't make them, so the recipe is not included here (let me know if you are interested).
Review: I may actually be more of a fan of Tomato Soup than I thought! I really liked this, because I felt it was more healthy than opening a can of Cream of Tomato from Campbells. It was a nice and tasty soup for a cold winter day and I think the longer it cooked, the better it tasted. Here are some tips if you make the above, as I had a few comments to the ingredients and cooking style:
- Put in the onion with the olive oil and cook on medium, once the onion is near translucent, add the garlic and red pepper flakes in for 30 seconds. (The above directions caused me to burn the garlic. Soup still came out ok, but burned garlic is not usually a good thing.) Oh, I added an extra 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder to make up for some of the burned garlic I removed.
- I didn't have white bread (we eat whole wheat in my house), but I did have a frozen hoagie roll, so I trimmed off the crust and cut it up. It worked fine!
- Not sure if this is any other kind, but use whole PEELED tomatoes. Also, be careful when squeezing the tomato against the side of the dutch oven, as they may squirt!
- The recipe doesn't tell you what to do with the bay leaf before the soup goes in the blender, I removed it.
- Another suggestion is after the blender portion of the recipe, stick the soup in the crockpot.
- The chives are not necessary, but add a nice touch.