We woke up to torrential rain this morning, the kind that brings me back to typhoon season in the Philippines. The strong winds brought our already stressed apple tree into submission–fruits fell with every blow and leaves got strewn all over. I’m trying not to think about the aftermath cleanup because we need this water.
As I look over our still-standing tomato plants, they make me wish the Sweet Millions, Fantastics and Black Princes would ripen at the same time so I can use them here. Gardening has been an exercise in patience, you see. Thankfully, fresh, canned or frozen tomatoes would work for this soup.
What interested me about this recipe is how it skipped the cream without losing too much of the creamy texture one expects from a hearty tomato soup.
They will get blended in with all the other ingredients…
Leaving a smooth and well-balanced soup that’s filling on its own, but can always be complemented with toast or a grilled cheese sandwich. You already skipped the cream, the cheese balances it out. :-)
Forecast for the rest of the week is rain, so I might just make this again.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- 1½ slices high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 2 tablespoons full-bodied red wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a larg Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay life. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes until no pieces are larger than 2 inches. Stir in the sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with the remaining tablespoon of oil in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the broth, brandy and wine, and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with the chives before serving.