Tomato soup and I go way back. My mother served it often with it’s very best friend, grilled cheese sam’iches, and it was the only decent meal we were served when I taught up in the mountains at Outdoor Science School. I’d always just eaten the canned stuff, until one day I decided to give it a shot and make it from scratch. I remember my girl was about 18 months old and hated everything I made her. But when I let her try a spoonful of this delicious, silky soup her face broke into a huge grin and she said “MMMmmmmmmMMM!” Be still my beating heart.
Ingredients (Yields 8 cups)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 cups water and 1 and 1/2 large chicken bouillon cube OR 3 cups chicken broth
- 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes and juice
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
in a 5 or 6 quart dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir occasionally and ensure it doesn’t get brown. Reduce the flame to low when its done.
Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.
Add the remaining ingredients and return the flame to medium-high. Stir the mixture to ensure the flour isn’t sticking to the pan.
Once you bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. I like to check on it every 10 minutes and stir it a little.
Once the time’s up, let the soup cool down a little. Pull out the sprig and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until its silky and creamy. You will have small bits of onion no matter how much your puree it, but I think it makes for a nice texture.
Note: If you don’t own an immersion blender I strongly recommend you invest in one. It makes so many pain-in-the-ass tasks easier. But in the meantime, you can transfer the mixture into your blender and puree in batches. Return the soup to the pot for serving.
You can garnish with a little freshly ground pepper, a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of dill, finely diced chives, or a grating of parmesan cheese.