Cream of tomato soup is a dish we make whenever I'm too lazy to go to the grocery store. It's flavorful, filling and easy to make. Best of all, the ingredients for the soup are usually available in our garden, pantry and refrigerator.
Because tomatoes are not fully grown in our garden yet, I used canned plum tomatoes and added heavy cream to give the soup a velvety texture. I also used a mirepoix of vegetables, which is a combination of coarsely chopped carrots, onions, leeks and celery. We usually eat tomato soup with a baguette, toast or a grilled cheese sandwich. Simple is beautiful!
Servings: 8 servings
1 yellow onion
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 leek (white part only), chopped
1 sprig lemon thyme (or regular thyme)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (14-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt (or regular salt)
1-½ teaspoons black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons sweet basil leaves
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans
½ cup frozen corn
For the mirepoix of vegetables: In a large pot, add the olive oil. Heat the oil and add the garlic and thyme and cook until slightly golden. Add the onions, leeks and 1 tablespoon butter and cook until golden. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a platter, leaving as much oil as possible in the pot. Set aside.
Making cream of tomato soup: In the same pot, add whole tomatoes, tomato paste and half the amount of mirepoix with the sprig of thyme. Stir well. Add the vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the honey, basil and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Remove and discard the sprig of thyme. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender), blend the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the mirepoix, cream, kidney beans and corn. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finish with the last tablespoon of butter. Stir well. You want to make sure the soup is warm.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with a few sprigs of parsley.
Serve with garlic bread, parmesan cheese sticks or a grilled cheese sandwich.
For a healthier version, you could replace the heavy cream with yogurt but the soup won't feel as rich.
If you like the soup spicier, you can blend in 2 drained, chopped chipotle peppers.