Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Year-Round Creamy Tomato Soup

Temperatures and leaves both start to drop, days are shorter and nights cooler. All of these are the first signs that Summer is over and it's time for a new season, but for me the arrival of Autumn and Fall is all also the welcoming start of Soup Season. Don't get me wrong there are the occasional times in the Summer when I will want a bowl of soup but they are generally light soups saved for cooler days. Autumn however, marks the start of piping hot bowls of really comforting, homemade soup that will warm you up and satisfy you in an instant.

Tomato Soup may seem more of a Summer Soup but for me it really is a year-round soup to enjoy. When I was pregnant with my son and finally over my morning (or rather 'all-day' sickness!) Tomato Soup with Cheese Toasties was my staple lunch and I don't know where I would have been without it! In the height of Summer when tomatoes are in abundance I love to use fresh vine-ripened tomatoes such as in my Fresh Tomato Soup recipe, but for the rest of the year it has to be tinned tomatoes. This recipe was taken from the book Pretty Delicious by Candice Kumai (read my review of the book here) and as far as I am concerned is the most fantastic Tomato Soup ever. I make it all the time because not only does it taste fabulous, but it takes no time to make at all and despite it being a 'creamy' tomato soup, there is actually no cream in it so it's healthy too!

I changed a few things in the recipe to suit our tastes but the core of the recipe is courtesy of Candice Kumai. If you like Tomato Soup, try this and I promise you will never buy tinned tomato soup again!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf (fresh if possible otherwise dried is fine)
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g or 1 x 28oz tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
125ml chicken stock
125ml unsweetened almond milk
4 tbsp nonfat plain Greek Yogurt, plus extra for serving
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil or parsley to serve (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan then add the onion and cook gently for about 8 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf then cook for another minute before adding the tomato puree. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, salt and some black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the fresh thyme sprig and bay leaf then allow the soup to cool slightly before carefully pureeing in a blender or food processor. Add the chicken stock, almond milk and Greek yogurt then blitz again until well mixed and completely smooth.

Transfer the soup to a clean pan, taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Heat the soup until lovely and hot (or to your liking – I tend to like my soup piping hot which my husband isn't so keen on!) then serve at once. If you like you can add an extra spoonful of yogurt to serve and garnish with some fresh herbs such as basil or parsley. And for the ultimate comfort enjoy with a Cheese Toastie or Cheesie Croutons! Delish and perfect all year-round.


Like is spicy? Add 1 finely chopped red chilli along with the garlic and thyme for a spicy version.

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