Hello and Happy Labor Day weekend! I know that many of you are spending this last long weekend of summer most likely grilling something but with fall just around the corner and chillier days on the horizon, my mind is leaning toward hot, comforting meals. What could fit the bill better than a bowl of piping hot tomato soup and your favorite grilled cheese sandwich? And isn’t it even more satisfying to know that you made the soup yourself and you did it in 30 minutes or less? Now when I was a kid, I got the Campbell’s soup variety and that’s perfectly fine, I’m not a snob that way, but when I got into cooking I discovered that it is truly satisfying to be able to say you made it yourself. You know all of the ingredients that went into it and of course it was made with love. That’s such a cliche, but it’s true!
I have always been a big fan of tomato soup. It was my favorite when I was a kid. Whenever my mother would ask me what kind of soup I wanted, my reply was always, “Tomato, please!” Then she would go on to tease and say, “Tommy toe soup? Okay, I will give you some Tommy toe soup.” The fact that this soup may or may not have been made from the toes of a kid named Tommy didn’t deter me at all. Kinda yucky when I think back on it. Yet it’s a fun story from childhood. Fortunately, this classic soup is not made from toes at all, Tommy’s or otherwise. Of course it is made from tomatoes, that wonderful ingredient that goes into so many comforting dishes – spaghetti and meatballs, chili, beef stew, and lasagna, to name a few.
One of the nice things about this soup is that it uses canned whole tomatoes and there is a good reason for that. Canned tomatoes provide consistently better flavor all year round than fresh tomatoes. You want to be able to enjoy this soup year round, right? And another good thing about this soup is that it is a creamy soup that doesn’t use cream. That’s right. No cream. So where does it get its creaminess? From white sandwich bread, believe it or not. It really works. Give it a try.
And here’s a tip for cooking things like this in small quantities, buy Better than Bouillon chicken base and keep it on hand. That way whenever you need a small quantity of chicken broth, as you do for this recipe, you simply mix up what you need. So much less waste that way. It’s a great value. One jar has 38 servings.
I hope that you enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!
p.s. If you are interested in the dishes that I used in the photos, I have a brand new set for sale in my shop. Check it out!
Tomato Soup for Two
- 2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tsp. minced garlic 2 cloves
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 slices hearty white sandwich bread crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tsp. packed brown sugar dark; plus extra for seasoning
- 1/2 cup chicken broth plus extra as needed
- 1 tbsp. cooking sherry
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
- basil leaves
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and their juice and mash with potato masher until no pieces are larger than 2 inches.
- Stir in bread and sugar, bring to simmer, and cook until bread is saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Process soup in blender with remaining 1 tbsp. oil until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return soup to clean saucepan.
- Stir in broth and brandy and bring to brief simmer. Adjust soup consistency with extra broth as needed. Season with salt, pepper, and extra sugar to taste. Sprinkle individual portions with chives and drizzle with extra oil before serving.