While tomato soup is best in the summer when tomatoes are at their prime, I can’t help but prefer this recipe during the cooler months. This soup has been a go-to in the winter, whether I’m in California or Paris.
The Inspiration for Tomato Soup
In Paris, I often find myself getting carried away at fromageries, buying big wedges of delightful cheese. I usually buy so much of it that I end up neglecting some of it as it goes stale in the back of the fridge.
When this happens, I try to rescue the cheese by making a classic grilled cheese sandwich. And while the cheese is usually the inspiring factor, I tend to use it as an excuse to make this tomato soup too, or crème de tomates in French. This tomato soup is one of my favorite recipes and probably the real reason why I ever make a grilled cheese.
A light but filling dinner
The soup is very easy to whip up and has wonderful flavor. I often turn to this tomato soup for dinner, when I’m looking to enjoy something that’s enticing and not too heavy, but still comforting and will fill me up.
This recipe for tomato soup takes about 30 to 40 minutes, from start to finish. Most of that time is allowing for the tomatoes to soften and then the flavors to develop and meld together.
You can use an immersion blend or food processor to purée your tomatoes, but I find the food processor works better. The tomato skins can be a bit stubborn, even after being cooked, and a food processor does an excellent job of puréeing the skin too.
The perfect accompaniment
My favorite way to enjoy this soup is with garlicky baguette croutons. I toast baguette slices in the oven, brush olive oil on them, then rub a garlic clove across the surface. They’re great on their own and especially delicious dunked in the soup.
Tomato Soup (Crème de tomates)
Creamy and comforting tomato soup, perfect with a side of grilled cheese.
- 2 lbs . tomatoes cut into chunks
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves large garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup half n half
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- salt to taste
In a large pot, add the olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, and give them a quick sauté for 20 seconds or so.
Add the tomato chunks in, give everything a stir, then put the lid on the pot and let the tomatoes cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
Use a ladle to scoop the contents of the pot into the cup of a food processor. If it can't all fit (don't try to fill the processor to the very top!), split the contents into batches. Pulse the contents in the food processor until they're smooth and puréed. If you split the contents of the pot into batches, pour the puréed parts into a separate bowl temporarily.
Once all the tomatoes have been puréed, pour the entire purée back into the pot. Pour in the chicken broth and half n half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt (to taste). Serve warm.