Everyone has a dish that marks the arrival of fall. For some, it's a pumpkin spice latte. For others, it's apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Don't get me wrong, I love those things, but my favorite fall meal is the classic pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese. Warm and comforting, with the tomato soup playing the ever important role of being a dipping sauce for the sandwich, you really can't go wrong. Especially if you are wearing a sweater and finishing with a mug of hot chocolate.
This is the perfect tomato soup, starring a secret ingredient that keeps it creamy without dulling the flavor. The soup starts with classic ingredients—sautéed onions and garlic and a couple cans of whole peeled tomatoes. But before long, we get to throw in our secret ingredient: chunks of bread! Don't worry, you will never be able to tell the bread is in there— all it does is impart a thickness and creaminess to the soup without affecting the delicious tomato-y flavor. Finishing with a little brown sugar for sweetness, olive oil for richness, and vegetable broth to obtain the perfect consistency, this tomato soup will become your new go-to fall recipe!
Creamy Tomato Soup- With No Cream!
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped into a medium dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1 inch chunks (I used challah because that's what I had on hand, but any sandwich bread will work)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Heat two tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf and sauté until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices. Using a wooden spoon, mash the tomatoes into they are in chunks no bigger than 2 inches.
Stir in sugar and bread chunks and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread chunks break down, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Add remaining two tablespoons oil and stir to combine. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer half of the soup at a time to a regular blender and blend until creamy (blender should never be more than 2/3 full). Return blended soup to the pot.
Stir in the vegetable broth. Return soup to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Top each soup bowl with a sprinkling of chives.
adapted from cooks illustrated