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.”
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.)
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.
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.
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.