~• Tomato Soup •~
The process for this yummy, creamy tomato soup may seem a little fussy on first-read, but it is really quite easy. It is so worth the extra couple of steps and you’ll be forever spoiled by its flavor and keep it handy in your “comfort foods” file.
- 2 cups chopped fresh, (thawed) frozen or canned tomatoes
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (optional) (I substitute arugula sometimes)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I frequently substitute undiluted canned milk if cream is unavailable) Reducing this ingredient to a couple of tablespoons cuts fat and sugars and makes it more healthy for persons sensitive to those elements.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Strain the chopped tomatoes ( reserve & set aside the juices) and pat “dry” with paper towel, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted chopped tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf.
- Add basil and cream, if using.
- Puree until smooth. (If working in a blender carefully cover with a towel over the blender top full of hot liquids or in the cooking pot with a hand held immersion blender)
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.