Cream of Tomato Soup

cream of tomato soup with Brie toastA cold, rainy February day calls for a big bowl of steamy cream of tomato soup to warm the soul. But it has to be something special—not just a glob of tomato jelly plopped from a can.

So here it is. Delicious, comforting cream of tomato soup. I chose to keep this simple, relying on the brightness of canned crushed tomatoes for their predictable flavor, even in the middle of winter. I also avoided heavy dairy like cream in favor of lower fat milk. I add a bit of richness back by starting it with a pat of butter. You could also use your favorite non-dairy milk and margarine to make it vegan. Unsweetened soy would probably work best here.

I also wanted to make it almost as fast and painless to prepare as heating a can of soup on the stove. And I didn’t want to be bothered with pureeing the hot liquid in a blender to get it smooth, so I stayed away from chopped onions and garlic and went with powdered instead.

I served this with Brie toasts instead of the familiar grilled cheese. This made it a bit more of a decadent and extra-comforting indulgence.

cream of tomato soup

Cream of Tomato Soup
Makes 4 cups.

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp basil
¼ tsp thyme
black pepper, to taste
1 cup 2% milk

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, thyme, and black pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Stir in the milk and bring back almost to a simmer, but do not allow to boil.

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