Much like chili, I don't remember eating tomato soup as a kid.
Chicken noodle? Sure.
Split pea? Of course.
ABC vegetable? Yes, please.
But tomato soup? No, ma'am. That was something people who didn't have the common sense to get the chicken noodle ate.
Which is kind of a shame, because I've really grown to love it now. Up until a few weeks ago, I'd never made it myself – just from the red and white Campbell's can. And that old red and white can contains wheat flour…plus high fructose corn syrup, seemingly random oils and flavoring.
I don't know why, but that random flavoring term kind of scares me.
So the search was on for an easy cream of tomato soup…preferable one that could be put together fairly quickly and cheaply. Also, it had to taste good with a grilled cheese sandwich made on Udi's bread. After hitting up my usual recipe searches, I pulled together a stack of recipes and unded up with this.
It passed the Udi's grilled cheese test, which was a little more important after I had a woe-is-gluten-free lunch earlier that day, and passed the family taste test. I've made it twice in the past 10 days and look forward to it more this winter. And it passed the budget test – if I were really watching sales on the canned tomatoes and cream cheese, I could probably make this entire batch for about $3…but even without I think it cost me just over $5, which served four with leftovers.
Cream of Tomato Soup
Makes approx 2 quarts, or 8 servings.
Based on this recipe by Elizabeth Foss
1 medium, chopped sweet onion
3 cloves chopped of garlic
2 TBSP butter or olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained – 14 1/2 oz cans
2 large cans tomato puree
1 c. milk
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
8 oz cubed cream cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, saute onions in butter or olive oil until nearly tender over medium heat.
You really don't want color on your onions or garlic here – just sweat them until they're just about translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute a few more minutes until fragrant, being careful not to scorch the garlic.
- Stir in everything else EXCEPT the cream cheese.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Puree the entire mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.
I've been using my blender and am completely convinced an immersion blender would be 1)easier and 2) make less mess.
- Add cream cheese, stirring until melted.
This step can take a while – that cream cheese does not like to melt too quickly!
- Season with pepper and serve immediately.
This is a great, basic cream of tomato soup. It would be easy to add in pasta or gnocchi for a little more bite (maybe with a sprinkling of parmesean), and next time I think I might add a cup or so of pre-cooked brown rice. Husband dear also suggested that a little heat might be nice – but then, he suggests that with pretty much every meal. Next time, I'll make sure I have a bottle of pepper sauce so can each add our own level of spicyness.
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