I have a new love, and his name is Tomato Soup. Yes, good old humble Tomato Soup has turned out to be a real friend to me during these long, cold February days. First we were getting together on weekends, when my husband was around to share a meal with us. But soon, we were meeting for weekday lunches, just the two of us. Eventually, I found myself tidying up afterward, hiding–or sometimes even eating–all the evidence that Tomato Soup had ever been in the house. I wanted to keep him all to myself.
But I realize now how selfish I’ve been. After all, couldn’t we all use a little comfort on these chilly winter days? And besides, I owe the scrumptiousness of my new love to an old one, one who deserves proper recognition:
Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes. These tomatoes make everything taste good, turning plain old tomato soup into the smoky, tantalizing Tomato Soup of my dreams. The middle of winter is no time for fresh tomatoes, but fire roasted tomatoes make the perfect bowl of tomato soup possible any time of year.
The only drawback to Muir Glen is the price tag: Each can costs $1.99 at my local supermarket, and my recipe uses two, making it cheaper to buy packaged tomato soup than to make it (though homemade tastes much, much better). Since I’ve been making this soup a lot, I created a second, less expensive version using a 99 cent can of organic tomatoes that I roasted briefly in my oven. The soup takes a little longer to make this way, but it tastes just as good as the Muir Glen version, at a quarter of the cost. So if you’re unable to find Muir Glen or unwilling to pay the high price, I’ve included instructions on roasting your own canned tomatoes.
(Update: After writing this post, I discovered that I could buy Muir Glen tomatoes at Amazon for much less per can. I now use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to have them delivered to me at regular intervals.)
I’m fortunate to have a few herbs that grow in my garden all year long, and though rosemary, oregano, and parsley may not be the traditional combination used in tomato soup, they add a hint of spring to the soup, while roasted garlic adds a delicious mellow taste that doesn’t overwhelm the other herbs. Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have available, or use a teaspoon or two of dried herbs, such as basil and oregano. But watch out–you may find yourself having a love affair with Tomato Soup, too!
Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Seasonal Herbs
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 1 14.5-ounce can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted diced tomatoes see Notes*
- 1 14.5-ounce can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted crushed tomatoes see Notes*
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
- 4-6 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar optional
- 4 tablespoons plain non-dairy yogurt optional, but good
- Sauté the onion and celery in a medium non-stick saucepan. When the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, rosemary, and cayenne. Simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes.
- Transfer half of the soup to the blender, add the roasted garlic, and puree until fairly smooth. If you’d like a chunky soup, add the blended half back to the pot. For a smoother soup, blend the rest of the soup and return it to the pot.
- Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste the soup, and if it is too acidic, add a little agave nectar or sugar, just enough to take the edge off. Ladle into 4 bowls, and stir a tablespoon of soy yogurt into each. Serve with croûtons, if desired.
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (or or 2 14.5-ounce cans)
- 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
Nutritional info is approximate.
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