I've struggled to find a non-condensed tomato soup that I love and brings back those childhood memories of creamy, steaming soup. But finally, finally, I've found The One.
The method is awesome. You roast canned, whole tomatoes in the oven, along with a red pepper (a jarred red pepper works great). In the summer, I'll definitely be using fresh tomatoes.
Then you build you soup and puree it all together. It's heavenly, rich, smooth, warm, and utterly perfect as far as tomato soups go. And grilled cheese is a must. :)
Creamy Tomato Soup
2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes (reserve juice)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter, unsalted
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 roasted red pepper, jarred or freshly roasted
1 1/2 cups half & half, whole milk, or heavy cream (or a combination of any of these)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat broiler. To roast peppers, cut in half, clean out the seeds, and place skin side up on a broiler pan. Broil for 20-25 minutes or until the majority of the skin turning black and charred. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off the black skins, and cut in large chunks.
2. Heat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the seeds from the canned tomatoes and discard. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with brown sugar. Bake until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes caramelize, about 30 minutes. If used a jarred roasted red pepper, add the pepper during the last ten minutes of roasting the tomatoes to remove excess liquid from the pepper.
3. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and tomato paste to pot and saute until onions soften. 5-7. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. 4. Gradually add chicken stock and reserved tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and peppers and stir to combine.
4. Puree until smooth using an immersion blender, or remove from pot in small batches and puree in a food processor or blender. Return to pot, simmer 15 more minutes. Five minutes before serving, half & half. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
adapted from How Does She?