Friday, September 4, 2009

Contessa's Cream of Tomato Soup

Looking at all the tomatoes in my pantry from the CSA share, I was inspired to make soup. Barefoot Contessa never lets me down! Don’t fret about the long list of ingredients—I actually already had most of these items on hand. The preparation is easy and comes together quickly. Using the medium blade on the food mill ensures a perfect texture for this great summer soup.

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
Croutons, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

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