I've been crazy about tomato soup and cheese sandwiches lately. I've always liked the combo, but I've just gotten back into it. I picked this recipe because I wanted to try it and use some of the tomatoes from my garden. To make it creamy without cream, bread is thrown into the mix. I thought that was interesting when I read the recipe but it seemed to work. Although, I'm not sure why I am leaving out the cream only to load the soup with cheese? Less cream equals more cheese, I guess. Yeah, that's how I roll.
At some point, I'm going to have to try the original recipe with canned tomatoes and see how it compares. We enjoyed this soup but I will be making some changes for next time. The original recipe is also super easy and fast but it added a few steps using fresh tomatoes. If you've canned tomatoes before, you are probably familiar with the process. Add tomatoes to boiling water and boil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the skins start to separate. Transfer to ice water bath. Remove skins and core. Lightly squeeze tomatoes to remove some of the seeds and juice. Transfer to a bowl and use a knife to cut into smaller pieces.
I stated with a gallon and a half ice cream bucket of tomates and my goal was to end up with 3 lbs 11 oz once the tomates were peeled and squeezed a bit. I should have weighed the tomatoes before hand, but didn't. I ended up with 3lbs and 10 oz and called it good. :)
Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (next time I'll just use the 2 T for sauteeing and leave out the remaining 2 T)
1 onion, mined (about 1 cup)
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf (I think next time I will sub basil or majoram for the bay leaf)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (1 heaping tsp)
3lbs 11oz tomatoes, prepared as shown above or 2 (28oz) cans tomatoes halved or diced
1 1/2 T brown sugar (I added a little extra)
3/4 tsp salt (omit if using canned tomatoes)
3 slices white sandwich bread, crust removed and torn into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth
2 T sherry or brandy (next time I will omit, didn't like it)
salt pepper to taste
Add 2 T oil, onion, pepper flakes and bay leaf (or other spices) to pan. Cook over med-high heat until onion is softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, and salt and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes are tender and can be easily smashed with a spatula. (if you're using canned tomatoes you only have to simmer for about 5 minutes) If you use a bay leaf, discard here. Add bread and simmer until bread dissolves, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender (if using all of the olive oil, add remaining 2 T now) or use immersion blender to puree mixture. Blend until completely smooth, seeds will no longer be visible. (If using a blender, make sure to vent a little while blending to keep pressure from building.) Return to pan and stir in broth and sherry or bandy if using it. Heat over med-low heat until soup is heated through. Season with salt and pepper (and brown sugar) to taste.
Source: Adapted from THIS recipe that can also be found in The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook