Somehow winter passed, and I didn’t make a single pot of tomato soup. Somehow spring arrived, and six inches of snow still covers my lawn. I’m craving rhubarb (cooking with it a little, too), but living on beans and bread; still making soup all the time.
Here’s the latest: creamy tomato soup from a 2012 Bon Appetit. The recipe is incredibly simple, calling for nearly all pantry items: onions, garlic, tomato paste, and canned peeled tomatoes. You may have to add thyme to your shopping list, though I made it once without it, and it turned out fine. You might also need to pick up some heavy cream, which could be omitted, but I think it adds a necessary touch of richness—the soup is made with water (as opposed to stock), and a little cream goes a long way here balancing the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes.
I like to serve the soup with lots of freshly cracked pepper and shaved parmesan and bread, of course.
The recipe is below, but here’s how you make it:
Sauté onions, garlic, and thyme in a few tablespoons of butter until soft:
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste:
Cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes:
Add 4 cups water and a 28-oz can of whole peeled tomatoes:
Simmer for about 45 minutes:
Discard the thyme sprigs, and purée until smooth. Add cream and lots of pepper:
Serve with bread, toasty or not, and shaved parmesan, if you wish:
Creamy Tomato Soup
Adapted from this Creamy Tomato Soup recipe in Bon Appetit
I've been making a half recipe (reflected in the ingredients below), which never lasts the day, so feel free to double it.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- a few sprigs thyme
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
- ¼ cup (or more) heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
- Fresh bread for serving
- Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add thyme, onion, and garlic. Season with salt. Cook until onion is completely soft and translucent, 10–12 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until paste has begun to caramelize in spots, 5–6 minutes—it will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomatoes with juices and 4 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. As the plum tomatoes rise to the surface while the soup simmers, use scissors to cut them up. (You'll purée it later, but somehow I think cutting them up, helps them cook down better.) Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavors meld and soup reduces to about 1 quart, 45 minutes or so. Remove soup from heat; discard thyme sprigs. Working in small batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth or purée with an immersion blender.
- Stir in ¼ cup cream. Taste and adjust as needed. I like adding the teaspoon of sugar, and I add at least a teaspoon of kosher salt (probably 1.5 teaspoons, but I like salt, so season to taste). I like lots of fresh cracked pepper, too. Simmer soup until flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Taste again, and add more cream, if desired.
- Ladle soup into bowls and shave Parmigiano Reggiano over top. Serve with more pepper on the side and bread.