The dawn of 2009 is upon us, and with the infant year comes millions (if not billions) of resolutions to eat healthier, get in shape, and save mad dough. For most of us (see: me), these newly acquired good habits will last until, oh, Friday. Still, a chosen few will hang on to mid-February, and for these noblest of stick-it-outers, I present an adaptation of Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Herbs from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
Good GOD, this soup is tasty. Hands down, it's the best tomato soup I've ever made, and possibly the greatest I've ever had the pleasure of slurping down, period. It has just the right amount of spice, plus a depth of flavor completely missing from commercial brands. Even better, without the yogurt or croutons, it clocks in around 100 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per cup. That's two points for you new or reinvigorated Weight Watchers out there, and just plain excellent for everyone else.
However, beyond the deep, hearty flavor, there are two things you should know about this soup. First, should your local supermarket lack diced or crushed Muir Glen tomatoes, you can pulse a can of whole peeled tomatoes in a blender until it reaches your desired consistency. Second, you have to be very, very careful during the puréeing process, as an overly filled blender (more than two-thirds) will cause an explosion of searing hot liquid all over your kitchen wall and favorite long-sleeved T-shirt. Don't ask me how I know this.
Whatever happens, though, be sure to try the soup. You'll have other shirts, and your New Year's resolution might even make it to next Friday.
- Yield:about 8 cups of soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 can (28-ounce) Muir Glen Fire-Roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can (28-ounce) Muir Glen Fire-Roasted crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
- 8 cloves roasted garlic (instructions here)
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt (optional)
- Croutons (optional)
Sauté onion and celery in olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When onion is translucent (about 7 minutes), add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, basil, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Transfer half of the soup to the blender, add the roasted garlic, and purée until fairly smooth. If you'd like a chunky soup, add the blended half back to the pot. For a smoother soup, blend the rest of the soup and return it to the pot. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste the soup, and if it is too acidic, add sugar, just enough to take the edge off. If desired, serve with croutons or a tablespoon of yogurt stirred into each bowl.