Red Eye Chicago
Cream of tomato soup
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