Making your own tomato soup really is super easy I promise! Not quite as easy as opening a can and adding water to the concentrate but SO worth the extra (minimal) effort. Once you taste this fresh, zingy bowl of lycopene-packed goodness you'll never go back to the over-processed, corn syrup-laden cans of your youth. Except maybe every once in a while, for nostalgic purposes, but even then, you'll be disappointed.
As for that old best pal of tomato soup, the grilled cheese, you can easily recapture the experience of dipping the sidekick sandwich into your piping-hot soup (the way the soft part of the bread absorbs the sop while the toasty crust remains crunchy-joy!) by filling your soup bowl with toasted cubes of stale bread and topping your soup with copious shavings of cheese. It's actually easier than assembling and cooking a sandwich, and it makes you feel sorta sophisticated. Deconstructed, reconstructed, and all grown-up.
1 28 oz. Can Organic Whole Tomatoes (preferably the Italian kind with the beautiful labels)
1 Medium Onion, chopped small
2-3 c. vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
2-3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
fresh basil (optional, minced), or dried (also optional)
1-inch cubes stale, toasted bread
egg for poaching
parmigiano-reggiano, for shaving and grating
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot warm 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. W
hile the onions are cooking, open the tomatoes and pour into a strainer set over a bowl. Break the tomatoes into chunks, setting the chunks aside while letting the seeds fall into the strainer. When the onions are tender and beginning to caramelize, add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the garlic and broth (start with 1 or 2 cups, depending on how thick you like your soup) to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Turn off heat. Taste for salt and pepper, adding to taste. At this point you can puree the soup if you like it smooth, half puree it (as I do), or skip ahead to the ne
xt step if you prefer your soup brothy/chunky. Use and immersion blender to blend soup to desired consistency. Alternately, puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Add sugar and vinegar to soup, return to a low heat. Taste. Add a pinch more sugar if it is too tangy. Add chopped fresh basil, if using.
4. Ladle 2 cups soup into a smaller saucepan, heat over very ow flame. Crack one very fresh egg (if you are serving one, otherwise add 1 1/2 cups soup per person, one egg per person) into the soup, cover tightly and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the white is set.
Place about 1 cup of toasted bread chunks into your favorite soup bowl, top with 2 ladles full of soup, top with grated cheese. If you are adding the poached egg (a very good idea), carefully ladle the soup from around the egg and pour over bread. Slide the egg onto the soup, topping with cheese, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Tuck on in!