The soup of the week is a Classic Tomato Soup. This is the second soup I've made from the Fine Cooking (issue 91) article on tomato soups using canned tomatoes. The first was a Southwestern Tomato soup using peppers and some spice. That one turned out really well and had a little twist of flavor to make you want more. This one was also really good. It tastes just like you expect a good tomato soup to taste, smooth and warm like a red velvet blanket. I like that it uses one 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, something I always have in my cupboard. In my opinion, tomato soup and marinara sauce always turn out better when they're made using canned tomatoes. The canning process gives the tomatoes a deeper, concentrated, more consistent flavor than you can get even with the ripest of summer tomatoes. I do like pastas with fresh tomato sauces. But if I'm going for a classic red sauce, it is canned tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen, all the way.
And like a homemade marinara sauce, tomato soup tastes better the next day. It seems tomatoes seem to need a little time to wrap themselves around the other ingredients with whom they've been thrown into the pot. After a night in the fridge, they mellow, lose some of their acidic bite and sort of gel with the oil, garlic, onions and herbs.
Classic Tomato Soup
by Perla Meyers
To learn more, read the article:The Best Tomato Soups
Serves eight. Yields about 8 cups.
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed (include the juice)
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil, chives, or dill, or a mixture of all three (omit if using one of the garnishes below)
how to make
Be sure to purée in small batches and crack the blender lid slightly (or remove the center cap from the lid). Steam can build up once you start blending, and if the lid is on tight or the blender is overfilled, it will spray hot soup all over you and your kitchen. For protection, cover the top with a dishtowel while puréeing.
In a nonreactive 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.
Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprig. Let cool briefly and then purée in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary. Serve warm but not hot, garnished with the herbs or dolloped with one of the garnishes below.
Make Ahead Tips
This soup stores beautifully and tastes better the second day. You can keep it in the refrigerator as long as you bring it to a boil every two days. Or you can stash it in the freezer for up to three months.
To add a creamy touch, try one of these garnishes:
Sour cream, goat cheese & Parmesan garnish: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. Add 1 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 Tbs. thinly sliced chives, and 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil. Mix thoroughly and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a dollop to each serving.
Crème fraîche, herb & horseradish garnish: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup crème fraîche with 1 Tbs. minced fresh dill and 1 Tbs. minced scallion. Add 1/2 Tbs. well-drained prepared white horseradish and mix well. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a dollop to each serving.
From Fine Cooking 91, pp. 55