Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creamy French Tomato Soup

This recipe combines two classic comfort soups - French Onion and Creamy Tomato - for a delightful union. This is perfect for those cold snowy days; especially for those experiencing the blizzard on the East coast.

Oh, and I'm kind of proud of myself at the moment because this recipe has zero garlic. Zero. Ziltch. Nada. This is an impressive feat for someone like me who considers garlic to be just as essential as salt and pepper when it comes to cooking.

I amaze myself. :)

Chop up an onion and a few tomatoes. Meaning: no roma or cherry tomatoes...even though those are my two favorite varieties. Sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good of our dinner.

Place chopped veggies in a large pot, add 1 c. chicken broth, salt and pepper. Allow the tomato mixture to come to a soft boil, stirring occasionally.

When the onions and tomatoes have softened and cooked down, transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend away until smooth.

Return the mixture to the pan, keep it hot over medium heat. Season with dried basil, creole seasoning, a little more salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste.

Now, lovingly pour in 1 c. cream or half&half. Stir. 

If the soup is still a little too thick for you, you can add either more chicken stock or more cream. Whatever floats your boat. I suggest equal amounts of both. But that's just me.  

Slice a loaf of french bread. We'll need 4 slices about 1/2" thick.

Brush the tops of the bread with melted butter, place on a baking sheet. Toast the bread in an oven set to low broil. Keep a super close eye (or two!) on them because broilers like to turn bread from soft and fluffy to charred and black as soon as you turn your back. Broilers are sneaky.

Pour the soup into 4 oven safe bowls/ramekins. Top each with a slice of toast. Now top the toast with a great big pile of motzarella cheese...and a bit of parmeasan while you're at it.

Pop the soup bowls back into the oven, still set on a low broil. Broil them just until the cheese melts and gets happy.

Like so.

And there you go, a simple yet heart warming soup.

Creamy French Tomato Soup (Printable Recipe)
Serves 4

4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning
6 oz. tomato paste
1 c. cream/half&half
1 c. chicken broth
4 slices French bread
1 tbsp. butter
1 c. motzarella cheese
1/4 c. parmeasan cheese

Place chopped veggies in a large pot, add chicken broth, salt and pepper. Allow the tomato mixture to come to a soft boil, stirring occasionally. When the onions have softened, transfer the mixture to a blender; blend until smooth. Return to the pot and add remaining ingredients. Pour soup into 4 oven-safe bowls/ramekins.

Lightly butter the sliced french bread; place on a baking sheet. Using a broiler, set to low, toast the bread until golden brown. Place a slice of bread on top each bowl of soup. Top with motzarella and parmeasan cheese. Return to broiler and let cook for a few minutes; just until the cheese is melted.

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