Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Simple Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon of dried basil
In a medium size saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat; add oil, red pepper flakes, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.
To saucepan, add thyme, broth, and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with your fingers. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 30 minutes. (Remove thyme sprigs before blending.)
Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot, leaving a fair amount of the tomatoes in chunks. Or, working in several batches, puree half or all of the soup (if you want to have a smooth consistency) in a conventional blender until smooth; return to pot. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot with garlic croutons on top and grated Parmesan cheese.
Directions for Garlic Croutons:
Over medium heat, spray a non tick pan with olive oil. Add in chopped white bread or small Portuguese roll. Spray bread with olive oil spray and dust with a little bit of garlic powder and salt. Toss bread constantly over heat until golden brown.