Simple Tomato Soup
Comfort food. Freezes well, goes wonderfully with a grilled cheese sandwich on a miserable day. Infinitely customizable, and terrific on its own or as a base for a more elaborate soup. It even makes a great sauce for cabbage rolls! It tastes a whole lot like the stuff in the red-and-white can used to, when I was a kid, but has an overall richer, yet fresher, flavour. It’s vegan. It's also gluten-free.
Serves 2 - 4
1½ tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ small onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500 mL vegetable stock
400 mL canned diced tomatoes with juices
½ cup white vermouth or dry wine (white or red)
salt as needed
pinch of allspice*
Heat olive oil and butter together in a medium-sized soup pot over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and become foamy, add the garlic and onion. Stir and allow to sauté for a few minutes, or until onion is slightly translucent. Throw in the bay leaf, white pepper and tomato paste, and stir through, allowing the tomato paste to cook for about 30 seconds. Add the vermouth, and stir well, scraping up any bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add the stock and the diced tomatoes, bring to a bare simmer, and let simmer for 15 minutes at medium heat, or 30 minutes on low heat. Taste the liquid, and add allspice (easy does it) and salt if necessary. Turn off heat. Remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to blitz the soup smooth in the pot, or carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender (never more than half-fill your blender at a time, or it will explode all over your kitchen) and purée until smooth.
The allspice is not optional. It makes all the difference to the taste of the soup.
Always In the Kitchen
© 2003 — 2008 Dawna L. Read