Recently I had one of those nights when I came home late and exhausted and all I wanted to do was flop down on the couch and watch something fun on TV (current obsessions: House of Cards, True Detective, Ripper Street, The Americans and don’t even call me on Sunday nights once Game of Thrones is back BECAUSE I WILL NOT ANSWER THE PHONE).
Those are the nights when I want to cook something fast and easy, and I don’t want to have to make a special trip to the store to get ingredients. I looked in the pantry and thought “Yes! You can do this, Clifton. Find something in there to make that doesn’t suck!” Well, I’ll tell you this. A warm bowl of homemade classic tomato soup does not suck.
Until tomato season comes round again (it’s hard to remember a time when the yard wasn’t basically permafrost), big cans of good tomatoes are a perfect pantry standby. You can make this classic tomato soup with either crushed or whole plum tomatoes, if you don’t mind crushing them with your hands. Some of you might quite enjoy doing that, I don’t know, that’s your business. Either way, you will want a stick blender to finish the job.
NOTE: If you’re feeling extra-fancy, make a little grilled cheese sandwich to go alongside your masterpiece. I, of course, was far too lazy even for that and just spread some goat cheese on a cracker and sprinkled some black pepper and scallions over it. Oh, and some chopped radishes on the side because they’re also red.
- Real imported San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are amazing for classic tomato soup but use whatever you like.
- For a gluten free version, leave out the flour but add 1/2 cup less stock or the soup will be too thin.
- You could use cream or half and half instead of sour cream or yogurt.
- For something heartier, cook 1/2 cup orzo until al dente (usually 2 minutes less than the package directions) and add it to the finished soup for Tomato Orzo Soup.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons flour (leave out for GF)
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ - ½ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt) + more for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a small pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir, cooking for another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender) until smooth. Stir in the sour cream and serve.