Tonight I went with a classic. Mostly it was an excuse to use my new immersion blender, but regardless no one can deny the perfection of tomato soup on a cold January day. I had never made tomato soup before from scratch so I relied heavily on this recipe from Epicurious:
I did make a few changes, and instead of serving with the souffleed cheese toasts (though they do sound good) I served with more carb-conscious parmesan crisps (which I will admit, I saw last week on the fourth hour of the Today Show - yes the one with Kathy Lee and Hoda - yes this is what one does when one is unemployed). I was pleased with the results. I served with a simple side salad for a meal on the lighter side.
Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery chopped
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes with juice
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup lowfat milk
salt to taste
coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
In a large pot melt butter over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute onions and celery about 2 minutes. Add garlic, basil and oregano and cook until onions and celery are soft, about 3-4 minutes more. Add flour and baking soda and stir thoroughly. Add whole tomatoes, crushing them in your hands as you add. Add tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Simmer 20 minutes partially covered. Blend soup with either an immersion blender or food processor (return to pot if using a food processor). Add milk and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to warm while you make the crisps.
For crisps, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Using a nonstick baking sheet or a baking sheet with parchment paper make small mounds (about 3 tbsp each) on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on the pan.
Serve soup with a whole crisp or break the crisps up and use as "croutons".