|Photo by Keenan Stansbury-Farrell|
I grew up with Campbell's condensed tomato soup, usually served with a grilled cheese sandwich made with regular sandwich bread and yellow American cheese... the processed, individually wrapped kind. I have to admit that in the depths of winter, this is the food I crave. My goal was to satisfy my memory of those foods while making something fresher and a little more "grown up."
I'm not big on thick, bisque-style tomato soups. Particularly in the depth of winter, I love making light, brightly flavored soups heavy on the stock. This recipe calls for only 7 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper - flecked with herbs with a hint of garlic, you'll wonder why you even keep the canned stuff around. Speaking of cans, I really recommend using aseptically-packed tomatoes if you can find them. They come in a paperboard box (like a lot of stocks nowadays), and tend to have a less tinny flavor. But if you can only find canned tomatoes, look at the ingredients and pick one with as few ingredients as possible. The tomatoes I buy have the following list. Ingredients: Tomatoes. That's it. With so few ingredients, quality counts.
One last note: You'll notice an odd ingredient in my tomato soup, tamari. Tamari is a high-quality soy sauce, and while it's absolutely not traditional to a tomato soup, it adds a savory note that rounds out the soup nicely.
I served my soup with a small toasted ham and swiss sub - the perfect accompaniment for a chilly winter day.
Ridiculously Simple Tomato Soup
1 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 750g (about 26 oz.) box strained tomatoes
32 oz low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 T. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. finely ground pepper
1 t. tamari (optional, but highly recommended)
Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in large saucepan. When hot, add garlic and let cook until softened, 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock, and stir well to combine. Add basil, oregano, pepper, and tamari, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until heated through, and add a small pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.