Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easy Peasy Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a beloved comfort food of mine.  I don't even need a grilled cheese sandwich alongside it (although that never hurts), just give me the good stuff.  My husband, however, despises tomato soup.  His is a hatred that runs deep and surely stems from some long-buried childhood tomato soup-related trauma.  So imagine my surprise, nay, my SHOCK when he willingly tried this tomato soup... and then... he liked it.  Coulda knocked me over with a feather.

Here's the scoop on how I made mine, and how you can make your own:

I made homemade vegetable stock the night before, and as I said in the post about said stock, on the suggestion of someone else out there in internet land, I kept the vegetables afterward for use in tomato soup.  I wasn't sure how it would work out, but I figured I would give it a shot.  (I didn't keep the apple cores or the parsley, just the vegetables.)  The additional vegetables gave the soup a lovely body and thickness, not to mention a good wallop of fiber.  The carrots lent a subtle sweetness which balanced the acid of the tomatoes nicely, and well, you can never go wrong with garlic.  If you don't happen to have vegetables laying around from making stock, you could cook them in the microwave or steam them.  Roasting them is another option, but that will caramelize the vegetables and intensify their flavors- a beautiful thing to be sure, but they may overpower the tomatoes.  Only way to know for sure is to try though, huh?   Any which way, adding the vegetables elevates this tomato soup beyond what you'll get from a can.

Easy Peasy Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
Vegetables reserved from making stock (cooked carrots, celery, broccoli, onions and garlic)

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat one minute, add tomatoes, let heat through for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to break down a little bit.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree vegetables and vegetable stock.  Add heated tomatoes.  (When blending warm/hot ingredients in a blender always be sure to remove the center piece from the lid to allow steam to escape and prevent your blender from cracking or exploding- I'm not kidding.  Hold a clean dishtowel firmly over the lid to prevent a huge mess.) 

Puree again until mixture is smooth.  

Return to saucepan over medium heat until heated through.  Serve hot.

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