Holy cat, this soup is good. Tom Douglas, of the Dahlia Bakery in Seattle, thank you for sitting in with NPR's Splendid Table last week and offering this recipe. EASY, EASY, EASY and delicious. Don't be put off because there is a little cream in this - a few tablespoons won't hurt you and may save you from being hungry five minutes after you eat it.
I didn't add celery seed or oregano because I didn't have it on hand, or sugar because I like a more acidic tomato flavor, and it was still a knock-out. Because it requires so few ingredients (and you probably have most of them in your pantry right now), it comes together quickly.
Freshly made croutons are really worth the extra effort, but you could have this with toast, or a grilled cheese sandwich or a stack of saltines and still be content. This will certainly make our regular dinner rotation.
Tasty Tomato Soup with Croutons
Adapted slightly from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat butter and oil in heavy 4 quart pot. Thinly slice onions and add to pot. Saute over medium low heat until translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Peel and smash garlic and add to pot. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and all their juice, breaking them up a bit with the back of your spoon. Add cream, salt and pepper (and other spices, if you choose) and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes then puree in batches in the blender (or use an immersion blender, if you're lucky enough to have one of those).
Half loaf crusty bread
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
Preheat oven to 375º.
Remove crust from bread and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with butter or oil and lay out on a baking sheet (lined with parchment, if you like). Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve in soup.