Saturday, August 30, 2008

Homemade Tomato Soup

The last days of Summer aren't turning out to be all that warm, but one must persevere, tomato soup will help.
This recipe is based on Cook's Illustrated "Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup". Their recipe called for canned tomatoes. I wanted to use some of my beat up garden tomatoes - and 1/3 a loaf of rock hard baguette. It is rich, tangy and just right for a grayish August day, or a work night.

Tomato-Bread Soup
The bread completely disappears into the soup, but gives the soup a fabulous thick texture without dairy. The soup takes about 20 minutes to make.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
A sprinkle of red chile flakes
4- 6 Cups chopped fresh tomatoes with their juices. (I don't peel tomatoes for soup, it just doesn't bug me, but if the skins bug you, you should peel the tomatoes.)
1/3 loaf of stale bread
1 Tablespoon honey or brown sugar
1 Cup water
1 can chicken broth - I use low salt
2 Tablespoons pesto, or some basil leaves chopped

1. Saute onions, garlic, chile flakes, and bay in a bit of olive oil until onions are translucent.
2. Add tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes.
3. Add bread, sugar and the cup of water and simmer for another 5 -10 minutes. When the bread has softened and started to fall apart get out your immersion blender, or regular blender.
4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot and blend until smooth and thick. The soup will get lighter in color and look creamy.
5. Add chicken broth and pesto, stir, and reheat to a simmer.

I added some additional basil to the bowl.

A grilled cheese sandwich would have been great too, but I used all the bread in the soup.

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