Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

I love sharing things that I used to enjoy with my kids. I want them to watch the classic Disney cartoons like Cinderella, read classic children's stories like Charlotte's Web and go on outings that include hay rides and going down slides.

It's not that I object to the cutting edge technology of Pixar and video games that don't even require a controller, I just love the wave of nostalgia that I experience when my kids fall in love with the same things that I used to love at that age. Maybe it's my own weird way of vicariously getting to be a kid again!

And since I want my kids to also experience the same foods I used to eat, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup have definitely made an frequent appearance on our dinner table. But eventually you have to draw a line when it comes to authenticity, and the canned version of tomato soup will no longer do.

So, I was thrilled to find this light, but rich and gorgeously smooth version of tomato soup, that made the perfect mate for our grilled cheesers. Instead of adding cream, bread is your thickener and the flavor of tomatoes is much stronger and tangier then what you get in the canned stuff. It's dippin' delicious!

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
By America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook


1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brandy (I omitted this, but if you use it, be sure to let me know how it is!)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced chives


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes until no pieces are larger than 2 inches. Stir in the sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the broth and Brandy, and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with the chives before serving.

Serves 6: 1 1/2 cups per serving

Per Serving: 180 cal, 10g fat, 19g carb, 3g prot, 3g fiber, 610mg sod


Cheryl said...

That looks yummy, tomato is my favorite but I have not had much luck making it. I am going to give this a try!

Cheryl said...
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Ann said...

Teresa, this soup looks so delicious and comforting. It is nice to share our favorites with our children.

Liz said...

I saw this recipe in a recent Soup & Stew edition of Cooks Illustrated, it is on my list of recipes to try. Great to know that your family liked it!

Erica said...

I agree! Sometimes you just can't beat the classics :) This sounds fantastic! I wish my husband was a tomato soup fan...I just recently broke him into loving pumpkin, I think tomatoes and tomato soup are next on my list ;)

ARLENE said...

One of my favorite pairings. I'm definitely trying this tomato soup--love that it doesn't have cream.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow great soup your such a fab mum

Mara said...
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Julie said...

Woops,sorry about that last deleted comment. I had commented under my dtr's sign on :P Anyway, the soup sounds fabulous! Wishing for some tonight as it's a little nippy here.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delightful soup! So appetizing looking. Yummy



The Blonde Duck said...

I love how this doesn't use cream!

MaryMoh said... this. My children love this, too, without cream. They love to eat it with crusty bread. Hope you have a wonderful day. MaryMoh at

Alissa said...

Mmmm tomato soup is my favorite! I tried a WW recipe a few years ago that was pretty good & healthy but Ben & the kids have kindly asked me to never make it again. Haha darn those tomato haters! I will make your soup & I will keep it all to myself:) They don't know what they're missing! Your recipe looks awesome, can't wait to try it!

Mary said...

This is a great soup. It looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Lara said...

Half my family has issues with digesting milk, so this looks like a great one to try! Yum!

pigpigscorner said...

The soup looks so rich and delicious!

Anonymous said...

I've used tortilla chips for thickening soup, but never thought to use bread!

Yum, I love tomato soup - I'll try this version next time :D

Melody said...

What a cool concept. I'm bookmarking this one. kids are loving the Star Wars movies! Classic!

Indie.Tea said...

I love tomato soup, so warm and comforting. I've never tried America Test Kitchen/Cook Illustrated version, but it sounds delicious. And your photographs of it are so nice too.

Coleen's Recipes said...

I LOVE tomato soup, I will be making this SOON!!

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Wednesday!

Barbara said...

Really interesting recipe, Teresa. Never have tasted tomato soup made with bread. Will definitely try it next time I make tomato soup! We love it with grilled cheese...they seem to go together, don't they?

Leslie said...

Very cool recipe!
I wish my kids like soup. Grrrr

Jana said...

I'm excited to try this as I'm allergic to dairy but LOVE creamy tomato soup! Thanks so much for sharing!