Posted by: lifewithbs | August 16, 2010

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

I’m back!

Sorry for the long delay between posts. I’ve been preoccupied with a really difficult physics class and a frustrating job search. About a week ago I was at the local Barnes and Noble studying for my physics final, and I was seated right next to the cookbook aisle. Talk about distracting!

I ended up purchasing this book, The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010. The reason I like Amerca’s Test Kitchen so much (they are the people who publish Cook’s Illustrated) is that they explain to you scientifically why the recipe is going to work. Also, the recipes never fail.

Tomato soup may seem like an odd thing to make in the dead of summer when it’s over 100 degrees every day, and you’re right, it is. I was just craving a grilled cheese sandwich, and this soup seemed like the perfect companion.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen, 2010

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 onion, chopped medium (about 1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 bay leaf

2 (28 ounce) cans of whole tomatoes, packed in juice.

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 slices high-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1 inch pieces

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons brandy (optional)

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain.

Next, stir in the brown sugar and bread. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Transfer half the soup to a blender. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and process until the soup is smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining soup and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

Rinse out the Dutch oven and return the soup to the pot. Stir in the chicken broth and brandy (if using). We didn’t have brandy, so I just added chicken broth. Return the soup to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the soup in individual bowls. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives, and drizzle with additional olive oil. I added in a handful of croutons, too…. after I took the picture below. 🙂

So, what did we think? This soup isn’t much to look at, but it’s WAY better than the canned variety. It’s creamy without the addition of any dairy products and was the perfect companion for grilled cheese sandwich.


  1. Thank you! i saw someone on the Cooking Channel (the new network) blend bread the other day…i was intrigued! I wonder if you could use Whole Wheat bread too?? you know how i roll…

  2. I bet you could. The Test Kitchen always uses white bread in their recipes, I’m not sure why.

  3. Test Kitchen is great. They also tell you what equipment is the best to use, which makes it so much easier to decide when buying a new kitchen gadget! I’m happy to see you are posting again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: