It's almost the end of summer (though you wouldn't know it if you lived in Los Angeles) and you might find yourself with a bunch of extra tomatoes. Or maybe you're still seeing them on sale at the grocery. Recently (even though it's been insanely hot lately) I found myself craving tomato soup. Something thick, like a bisque, but something healthy, sans the cream. I eventually stumbled upon a recipe idea on AllRecipes and liked how light it seemed. Here's what I ended up making...
Serves: 6-8 Cook time: About 1 hour
Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 small onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 3 tablespoons tomato paste 3 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (plus additional for garnish) 1 quart (or 32 ounces) low sodium chicken broth 6 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (optional) salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and basil, stirring until tomato paste is combined, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover 30 minutes. Season with about 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. Turn off heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. If using a stand blender, blend the soup in batches until smooth. (Be sure to remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape.) Season to taste.
3. Ladle soup into bowls. If desired, garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 teaspoon chopped basil.
My Notes: Why remove the blender lid's center piece? This will allow steam to escape and will prevent your blender from expelling the soup straight onto your kitchen ceiling.
Can I use different tomatoes? Sure, if you really want to. The reason I use Roma tomatoes in this recipe is because I add several other ingredients to this soup and then blend it all -- in this case, the texture of the tomato isn't very important. I love meatier, juicier tomates such as heirloom or beefsteak but because they're so delicious, I prefer to have them in their more natural state. Since everything's getting mashed up anyway, it's fine to go with the cheaper tomatoes.