Creamy Tomato Soup

At the end of the summer, there was an influx of farmshare tomatoes. I am not the biggest raw tomato fan (unless they are JUST picked from the garden, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and chopped basil, and layered with fresh mozzarella), so I knew I wanted to cook something with these guys. Usually when I am craving tomato soup, I use this Martha Stewart recipe that uses canned tomatoes. This time with enough tomatoes for a fresh soup, I consulted the goddess Barefoot Contessa. Here, I use her very simple and incredibly delicious recipe for cream of fresh tomato soup. Perfect for those chilly early autumn nights!
Lots of fresh chopped tomato

Cream adds richness and depth

Everything simmering with my homemade veggie stock

                3 tbs good olive oil
                2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped and1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
                1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
                4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
                1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
                1 tablespoon tomato paste
                1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
                3 cups vegetable stock
                1 tablespoon kosher salt
                2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
                3/4 cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Blend the soup in a blender or food processor until thoroughly combined. Return  the soup to the pot and put low heat. Slowly whisk in cream. Serve with grated cheese if desired.

Served with buttery, crispy toast. Yum!

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