Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pure Tomato Soup

Fat Tuesday has come and gone and the leaner days of Lent are here.   Seasons are often common denominators of cultures and religions. At this time of year, many people add more vegetarian and seafood options to their daily meals whether for religious reasons or the cosmic pull of Spring.   Here's an easy and pure tomato soup that will keep you going with a little less bulk. It's about as easy as reconstituting a can of condensed soup and you'll be impressed with your results. 

Pure Tomato Soup
Ingredients
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
1 14-oz can vegetable broth or water
1 14-oz can tomatoes (low sodium preferred)
salt, pepper, thyme or basil to taste
Optional
1/4-1/2 cup milk or cream
1T butter

Method
  1. In a heavy bottomed, 2-quart sauce pan, heat tomato paste over low heat until it has melted slightly. 
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in flour until completely blended.  
  3. Return to low heat and cook about 60 seconds then slowly add broth/water, a bit at a time, stirring to incorporate until all liquid is mixed in.  
  4. Add canned tomatoes with their juice.   Break apart tomatoes with side of spoon.  Adjust heat to allow soup to simmer, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens.  
  5. Remove soup from heat and use an immersion blender to puree soup.  (If you do not have an immersion blender, cool soup and puree in a standard blender or leave soup chunky.)  
  6. Taste soup and add seasonings as preferred.  Stir in milk and butter before serving. 

Nice additions include cooked rice, cooked shrimp and steamed okra.