We’re Cooking: Winter Tomato Soup

I am a tomato lover. I eat tomatoes like apples, enjoying the purity of the sweet and savory flavors, enhanced with a touch of flake sea salt, all summer long. Which makes winter time difficult at farmers market fresh tomatoes just aren’t available, even here in Texas. So trying to eat seasonally (and not buy the tomatoes from our neighbors to the south and beyond) I created this incredibly tasty soup with the help of a few cans of high quality tomatoes, combining both sweet San Marzano and fire roasted tomatoes, adding smoke and heat to the sweet tomato flavors. My tomato soup critic, Gary, said it is the best one he has had in quite some time. Serve with crusty, cheddar cheese topped sourdough bread and you will please any soup lover at your next gathering.


Winter Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to your taste
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to your taste
Splash white wine
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
Splash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup cream (optional…but worth it)2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup orzo pasta (optional)

Add the oil to your soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onions and saute, stirring often, until translucent. Add the garlic, stirring to combine, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until softened. Add all of the dried spices, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and the splash of wine, stirring to combine and cook for another 2 minutes. Meanwhile add the tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until chopped and combined. Add the tomatoes to the pot, stirring to combine, distributing the spices throughout. Cook together for a few minutes, then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then add the orzo and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes stir in the basil and the cream, whisking to combine. Adjust any final seasonings to your taste (you may need a pinch more salt or pepper,) and serve with cheesy bread. (To make the cheese bread simply melt a pile of shredded cheddar cheese on top of your favorite crusty bread in a 400 degree oven for about 4 minutes.) The soup will have nice texture thanks to the orzo and the vegetables. If you prefer a smoother soup add the chicken stock and then puree until very smooth before adding the orzo.



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