October 21, 2012

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Oh, I was so hoping I wouldn't like this recipe!  Unfortunately, that's not the case, in fact it's the best tomato soup I've ever had!  I've always wanted to make homemade tomato soup-it's a great way to use all those lovely tomatoes that are still in the garden.  It's also much cheaper too!  But as I was splattering tomato juice all over the walls while using my food mill, I thought, "this is not going to happen, we're definitely going to have to tweak this a bit!"  But I wanted to follow the recipe the first time.  It had a deliciously fresh tomato taste and the kids loved it.  It actually would be an easy soup if you just leave it chunky or I may even throw it all in my blender next time, but no more food mill!  At least my kitchen walls got a good cleaning!  :)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 carrots, scrubbed, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) or about 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 5 large)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher (coarse) salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk
croutons, fresh parmesan, fresh basil, for garnish
cornstarch to thicken, if desired

Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and carrots and saute 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; stir well.  Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes.  Add the milk to the soup and (skip the food mill!) transfer to a blender and process until smooth and creamy.  Return soup to the stock pot to reheat.  (I actually thickened the soup with a little cornstarch.)  Just add about 2 tablespoons cornstarch to a glass of 1/4 cup cold water.  Stir well with a fork.  Bring soup to a boil and add cornstarch mixture all at once; cook and stir until thickened.  Serve with croutons, parmesan, and fresh basil.

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