I have always loved tomato soup and often order it when I got out to eat for lunch, but I've never had a great recipe before... either it tastes really bitter, or too sweet, or too much like spaghetti sauce. I had read about the "bread trick" when making good tomato soup and decided I would try it out. Instead of having to use milk or heavy cream to make the soup rich and creamy, this recipe uses pieces of white bread blended into the soup to make a rich, creamy, non dairy/fattening soup. Delish!
4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
3 pieces white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons brandy
salt & pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven/soup pot on medium high until smoking. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and basil, breaking up the tomatoes with a potato masher/whisk. Bring to a boil and add the bread pieces, cooking until the bread begins to break down. Remove bay leaf and discard.
Transfer half of the soup into a food processor, add 1 tablespoon of oil, and process until completely smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Pour into a separate bowl. Repeat with remaining soup and olive oil, blending until creamy. Rinse out pot and pour blended soup back into pot. Add the chicken broth and brandy and stir. Bring soup to boil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Eat with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich!