Recipe: Tomato Soup

It’s starting to cool off and feel like Fall in Los Angeles.  It feels good.  I pulled my black sweat pants from the bottom of the pants pile and feel pretty comfy sitting here writing this.  People always say that there are no seasons in Los Angeles.  Not true, they’re just not harsh seasons.  It always seems that one day in October it goes from being shorts to sweats.  I know I still don’t need snow shoes or anything, but the switch is flipped.  And it flips in the kitchen too.  It’s time to make soup.  On Monday I was so ready for soup that I made black bean for lunch and tomato for dinner.

My sister stopped by on Monday night and said to me, “Should we have dinner?”  I took this to mean, “Make me dinner,” although she would never say that.  I finished folding the laundry and headed up to the kitchen to make her something to eat.  She’s vegetarian and almost vegan and always appreciates a home cooked meal.  What could I throw together quickly?  Roasted zucchini rounds, roasted cauliflower florets (why not the oven is on already) and Tomato Soup.  I got the veggies roasting and set out on the soup.

Here’s my soup.  It’s versatile, easy and uses basically pantry ingredients so it’s a great last minute fix.  Plus it’s vegan – so feed your veggie pals!

Tomato Soup

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – to coat the bottom of pot – about 2 tablespoons
  • 3-5 cloves of Garlic sliced thinly (like garlic – use more – not a huge fan – use less)
  • 1 – 28 oz can San Marzano whole Tomatoes
  • Water (about 1-1/2 Cups – use it to rinse out the can and then add to soup)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • About 10 Fresh Basil leaves – chiffonade
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

First assemble your ingredients.  It will make your life easier and is a great habit to get into.

Everything you need!

Everything you need!

Got your pot?  I use a 3-quart stainless steel pot.

Put it over medium high heat and add your olive oil.  Use good olive oil, it tastes better.  Let it heat up for about 30 seconds.

Browning the garlic

Browning the garlic

Add the sliced garlic and let it get golden brown in the oil.  Swirl it around – no need for stirring.  Do not burn it – it’ll ruin everything and you’ll have to start over.  I speak from experience.

The tomatoes are in!

The tomatoes are in!

Once your garlic is nice and toasty (but not dark brown) add your can of tomatoes.  Careful with that hot oil now!  Turn the heat down to low low low.  I also rinse out the inside of the can with a little water (about a cup and half) and throw that in there too.  Let the tomatoes cook slowly and when it starts to barely bubble around the edges (about 15 minutes) season it up with salt and pepper and throw in your basil and a few shakes of red pepper flakes if you like it a little spicy.

Basil added to soup just before blending

Basil added to soup just before blending

Take the soup off the heat and grab your immersion blender.  This will get everything blended up nicely.  Take it as smooth as you like it. Don’t have an immersion blender?  You can use a regular blender.

Blending is about to go down!

Blending is about to go down!

Taste for seasoning and serve with a garnish of basil leaves.

That’s it.

The finished soup...yummmm

The finished soup...yummmm

Now get ready for this:

“This is so good.”  “Oh my gosh.”  “Is there cream in this?”  “Yum.”  “Must be Parmesan cheese.”  “How much butter is in here?”  “Can I have some more?”

You can decide how you want to answer the questions yourself.  I stick to the truth…usually.

Use leftovers on pizza, as a dipping sauce for shrimp, pour it on eggplant, cook eggs in it, or just heat it up and have it with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Perfectly satisfying, perfectly Fall.