Red Eye Chicago

Cream of tomato soup

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Prep: 10 minutes

Puree this soup if you want it silky or leave the tomatoes chunky and add more vegetables to make a sturdier soup. Good additions include leftover cooked meats, tofu or shrimp. Use evaporated milk if you don’t have half-and-half or cream handy.

1 tablespoon butter

Cook: 25 minutes

1 medium onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 rib celery, diced

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice

1 quart chicken broth or stock

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1½ cups half-and-half, heavy cream or evaporated milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Makes: 6 servings

1. In a large heavy pot, heat the butter over medium heat. When it has melted, add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the chicken broth and the nutmeg. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasional­ly, until tomatoes begin to melt, about 15 minutes.

3. For a smooth cream soup, puree the soup at this point with a stick blender, in a regular blender or in a food processor, being careful of the hot liquid and working in batches if necessary. Stir in the cream, half-and-half or evaporated milk, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediatel­y.

4. For a heartier soup, add up to 2 cups of any additional vegetables: frozen spinach, kale, diced potatoes, butternut squash or others. Shaped pasta such as elbow macaroni, pastina, orzo or others can also be added now.

5. When additional vegetables and/or pasta are cooked, stir in the half-and-half, cream or evaporated milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediatel­y.

Nutrition informatio­n per serving: 157 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 26 mg cholestero­l, 16 g carbohydra­tes, 10 g sugar, 6 g protein, 347 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

 ?? E. JASON WAMBSGANS/CHICAGO TRIBUNE; SHANNON KINSELLA/FOOD STYLING ?? This classic take on potato soup gains flavor and joy from a can of clams and a handful of crisped,
chopped bacon.
E. JASON WAMBSGANS/CHICAGO TRIBUNE; SHANNON KINSELLA/FOOD STYLING This classic take on potato soup gains flavor and joy from a can of clams and a handful of crisped, chopped bacon.
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