Tomato soup is possibly my favorite soup. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, and can be flavored many different ways. It is truly a versatile, delicious, and comforting soup. To top it off, the left-overs can be used as a base for a multitude of sauces or to braise your favorite meat.
Cut tomatoes in half length-wise. Toss them with 2 tbsp of olive oil and lay on a baking sheet cut-side up (ensure your baking sheet has at least 1/2 to 3/4 inch sides for excess juices). Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tsp parsley over the tomatoes. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (the tomatoes should be very tender and the skins should come off easily). When removing the tomatoes from the oven, be very careful as there will be excess juice in the pan. Immediately and carefully remove the tomato skins.
When the tomatoes are almost done, heat the remaining oil in a pot, over medium heat on the stove top. Ensure the pot is large enough to hold all the soup ingredients (enameled cast iron works great). Once heated, add the onions, shallots, and garlic. When they begin to get soft (around 10 min), add a tbsp butter and let cook for about 10 min more (stirring as needed).
Add the peeled tomatoes and mix well. Using your spoon or spatula, break the tomatoes up slightly. Add the sugar, garlic powder, remaining salt, tomato juice from the pan, stock, and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes and let the soup reduce some. Stir as needed. Puree your soup with an immersion blender or an upright blender made to handle hot liquids. Stir in the cream once the soup is pureed. Taste and salt to taste if needed.
To paint the heart on the soup, use a food-safe paint brush. Dip the brush in the cream and gently paint the heart on a section at a time. Have a paper towel handy, to clean the brush as needed.
Enjoy this creamy tomato soup!
#1 Cut up small chunks of cheese and place them in an empty bowl. Pour the hot soup over the cheese. See this week’s Tips for Tuesday for more information!
#2 If you are watching calories, omit the cream and butter. It will still be creamy, but you may have to add additional spices to balance the flavor.
#3 Freeze the soup in portions and simply defrost when ready to eat.
#4 Use the left-overs of this soup to make a pasta sauce or braise meat. The sky is the limit.