If you’ve read my apple pie recipe post then you already know this… I’m not a huge fan of gifts and stuff. This is not a new development. I was this way as a kid – there’s nothing I hated more than being the center of attention opening a bunch of gifts in front of everyone at a birthday party. Call me strange; it’s just the way I am. This has certainly carried through to my adult life, as is evidenced by how I handle my kids’ birthdays. Ever since they were young, I’ve told my kids that rather than running out and buying yet another electronic game, electronic device, or (worse) a gift card, I’ll happily make them anything they want for their birthday dinner and dessert. It’s their choice. The sky’s the limit. It’s become a tradition – and (quite honestly) a tradition they all love. Enter my homemade Creamy Tomato Soup.
It’s funny when you give kids their choice of any food they want. Some vary all over the map – everything from ribs to mac-n-cheese to quinoa to chicken burritos. Others stick with the tried and true. Such is the case with my youngest son. Every year on his birthday I ask what he wants. And every year his eyes light up and he gives me the same answer… Creamy Tomato Soup. (And apple pie for dessert.) It fascinates me. This is the kid who won’t eat anything. My pickiest eater by far! Pizza? Nope. Mac-n-cheese? Not a chance! And heaven help me if I try to get him to eat a scrambled egg. So why Creamy Tomato Soup for at least a decade? I have no idea.
Creamy Tomato Soup is a tradition!
I guess when you think about it, though, Creamy Tomato Soup does have a lot to offer. It’s rich, slightly sweet (thanks to a brown sugar trick I learned from the good folks at Cook’s Illustrated), has a bit of tang with a hint of heat, is very satisfying, and goes perfectly with a side of crunchy fresh bread. If you’re looking for a bowlful of wholesome goodness that feels like a warm hug from the inside, then this Creamy Tomato Soup is just what you want… Maybe it’s exactly what a boy really needs from his mother (even if he thinks he’d rather have the latest video game).
And if you’re looking for an immersion blender to make this and other fabulous soups and sauces, I LOVE mine. Here it is!
Turn oven on to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of aluminum foil. Set aside.
Drain tomatoes through a fine strainer set over a large bowl. Working over the strainer, seed the tomatoes, allowing all of the juices to be captured in the large bowl. You will need this juice for the soup. As each tomato is seeded, place on prepared baking sheet. Set aside reserved tomato juice.
Once all tomatoes are on the baking sheet, sprinkle with the brown sugar. This helps caramelize the tomatoes and gives them a nice, rich, slightly sweet flavor. (Thanks to Cook's Illustrated for that tip!) Place baking sheet in oven until the tops of the tomatoes start to char, but not burn. Approximately 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are cooking, heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and melt until foaming. Add shallots and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, flour, cayenne, and salt, stirring constantly for approximately one minute. Whisk in chicken broth and bring to a simmer, ensuring all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the broth. Once the broth begins to thicken, add the reserved tomato juice and bring to a slow boil.
When tomatoes are done, add them to the broth and simmer 20 minutes, then blend thoroughly. I use an immersion blender to completely blend the tomatoes, but if you don't have one, you can blend it in batches in a blender, then return the blended soup to the pot.
Add cream and brandy and heat through on low, approximately 3 minutes. Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with chives and a hunk of crusty bread!
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Teffy @ Sprinkle of Green
Wednesday 3rd of February 2016
Soup is probably my favourite thing about winter! Looks delicious =)
Thursday 4th of February 2016
I completely agree! In fact, it might be the only thing I like about winter! lol!
Tuesday 2nd of February 2016
This soup looks fantastic and so perfect for these chilly months!!
Wednesday 3rd of February 2016
Thanks Jenny! I was so cold all day yesterday (yes, even in Arizona) that I had to make a big pot of this for dinner. Did the trick!