The Best Tomato Soup

January 19, 2008 · 1 comment

It really is. And alarmingly simple, too. I’ve tried several other tomato soup recipes, all more complicated and time-consuming, and not one has compared, even remotely.

Every time I serve this soup to guests, they comment on how fresh it tastes, and usually ask if I used fresh tomatoes (I think to myself that I’d rather eat a can of Campbell’s than use a storebought tomato at this time of year). But I wouldn’t use fresh tomatoes even if I had an endless supply of a perfectly-ripe heirloom variety; this isn’t a gazpacho, it’s a cold-weather soup, and the texture and flavor of canned tomatoes are necessary. The original recipe was scrawled on a scrap of paper at my friend Megan’s house, where I first had the pleasure of eating it. I now have it memorized, because we eat it 2-3 times a month in the fall and winter, and it’s only four ingredients — and my meager brain can actually remember a list of four things, but only after months of repetition.

If you make it and don’t agree it’s the best, please send me Your Version Of A Better Tomato Soup recipe. Because I’m just curious.

(The Best) Tomato Soup

  • one yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 (28-oz) cans of tomatoes (I use one can of diced and one can of crushed)
  • one quart vegetable or chicken broth (homemade makes a big difference here!)

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Puree the soup using a hand blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor. Salt and pepper the soup to taste (this will depend a good bit on the salt content of your broth). If desired, stir in a couple tablespoons butter (this will round out the acidity) or 1/4 cup heavy cream.

Tastes best with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.

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