This recipe for tomato soup strikes a wonderful balance between sweet, savory, tangy, and creamy. After several attempts over the years, I think I've perfected the recipe! This recipe will serve 5 large bowls in just under 30 minutes!
For me, the benchmark of a great tomato soup is Panera Bread. And I've gotta say--this one might be better.
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano is best!*)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
5 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
3 oz parmesan reggiano, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
handful basil leaves, chiffonaded
Salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
*If you're asking yourself, "Do I really need San Marzano tomatoes?" The answer is... it depends. To me, it really is worth it. San Marzano tomatoes have lower acidity, perfect sweetness, and are more dense and fruity than their standard counterparts. To me, it's like the difference between freshly grated cheese and packaged pre-shredded cheese. Both are good; one is better.
*Special equipment needed: immersion blender or standard blender.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add in the oregano, rosemary, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until evenly distributed.
Pour in the chicken broth and tomatoes--juices and all. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. I ended up adding about a teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Turn the heat off and use an immersion blender to liquefy the whole tomatoes. Blend until the soup is smooth and even. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the soup into a standard blender. If you don't have a "premium blender", you'll need to let the soup cool for about 15-20 minutes first. And if also you have a small blender like me, you may need to do this in batches.
Turn the heat back up to a simmer. Slowly sprinkle and stir in the parmesan cheese, stirring vigorously so the cheese doesn't clump.
Pour in the heavy cream and stir until the color is even.
Serve immediately with the fresh basil. Try it with fresh croutons, crusty bread, or a grilled cheese!
Bonus content: The secret to the best grilled cheese to please your inner child.
Use white bread and 2 Kraft American cheese singles.
Spread mayo on the outer part of the bread instead of butter. No need to grease the pan. Mayo allows the bread to develop the perfect browned crust. If you don't like mayo, don't worry, you can't taste it.
Medium--not high--heat. And press lightly with a spatula as it cooks.
I'm going to be capitalizing on soup season for as long as I possibly can.