• Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

    MH900400601

    Creamless and creamy?  I was skeptical, too, so I gave it a shot and was happily surprised that it worked just great!  I added a few basil leaves before whirling it up in the Blendtec.  Since I used stale bread, I needed more broth than listed below.  The fat/calorie difference in using bread vs. cream is quite astounding.  A traditional cream-based tomato soup will run you 410 calories, 24 g of fat, 16 g of sat fat, and 80 mg of cholesterol.  This version contains 180 calories, 10 g of fat, 1.5.g sat fat and 0 mg of cholesterol.  I made this recipe from the cookbook “America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.”

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, minced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • pinch red pepper flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (I halved the recipe and used 1 jar of crushed tomatoes.) 
    • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
    • 3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoons brandy (You’ll be tempted to leave this out, but I could tell after it added some great depth.)
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives (I left this out and added a few fresh basil leaves before blending instead.)

    Directions:

    1. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Add onion, garlic, pepper flakes, bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
    2. Stir in tomatoes with their juice.  Mash tomatoes until no pieces are larger than 2 inches.  Stir in sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
    3. Discard the bay leaf.  Puree the soup with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a blender (in batches if necessary) until smooth.  Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in broth and brandy, and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle individual bowls with chives before serving.
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