Creamy Tomato Soup

by Nealey on December 14, 2009

Creamy Tomato Soup 2

In the Dozier house, tomato soup has always come from the can.  My dad used to slurp it down with a side of saltines on a fairly regular basis. Me, I ran far far away from the stuff.

I thought my Campbell’s days were over once I fled Alabama; turns out, not even close. Walt lives and breathes for the processed kind, and I’m not going to lie, I dabble in the neon goodness every now-and-then, too. 

It was a revelation a few Christmas’s ago when I discovered that tomato soup could actually be — shock, gasp, screech – homemade(I’ve come a long way in the kitchen, can you tell?). The day my sister served that sweet, tangy, tomato-ey pot of goodness should be marked as some sort of culinary milestone in my life. I mean, homemade soup. Who knew.

A few years have passed since that fateful day, and many, many pots of soup have been made in this dixie kitchen. Here, my tomato soup builds on layers of flavors: carrots, onions, and garlic provide the aromatics, tomato paste ups the “tomato” anti, brown sugar mellows the acidity, and a splash of cream gives just the right silky mouth-feel. If you’re feeling wild and crazy, a shot of sherry rounds it all out. 

Serve this with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese and you’ve got yourself a night. 

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP

Source: Nealey Dozier

1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 (28 ounce) cans plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)
salt and white pepper, to taste 
Crème fraîche, for garnish
fresh herbs, finely chopped, for garnish

Heat butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sweat, 5 – 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add flour and tomato paste and mix until well-incorporated; saute about 1 minute (long enough to cook out the raw flour taste).

Add tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, approximately 30 minutes. Puree soup using an immersion blender and strain through a fine-mesh sieve (skip this step if you like a thicker soup). Return pot to medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and sherry. Season liberally with salt and white pepper. 

Serve with a dallop of crème fraîche and freshly chopped herbs.

Kitchen tip: Have you discovered crème fraîche? If not, you should. It’s a cultured cream, similar to sour cream but a bit milder. Most importantly, it’s delicious. It’s becoming more readily available at grocery stores everywhere, but it isn’t exactly cheap. The good news — it is so very easy to make at home! Check out the recipe from my friend Christine over at Literary Appetite.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah December 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Just stumbled across your wonderful blog today. I’m loving every post!
I love the joy that comes from making homemade soup, although I still haven’t tried out a tomato soup of my own. This looks like a lovely recipe!

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angelitacarmelita November 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

sooo funny. I love your site, and today, I decided to stop by. how funny is it that just this morning, as it was only 37 degrees outside and I’ve just moved and seriously, can only put my hands on some sliced cheddar cheese or gouda cheese and a loaf of bread and I thought “what I wouldn’t do for a can of that neon red soup”, although I would never admit it (in public), I used to love that stuff. I can’t wait to try your version! this one looks as close as I can imagine it being. all the other ones add basil, or garlic, or something that you just know was NEVER in that can! thank you!

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Nealey November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Angelita, I’m so glad you think the soup looks good! My favorite thing is to make cheesy toast and dunk it in—funny enough, Trader Joe’s makes a Cheddar-Gouda blend that is just PERFECT. Let me know how it goes if you make it, and thanks for stopping by.

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