Tomato Soup

This soup’s a variation of a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Take the time to make homemade multi or whole grain croutons. It’s worth it.

Makes about 11 cups or 5-6 servings

4 cans (28 ounces each), whole Italian tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2  of a 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups low sodium canned chicken stock
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line two baking pans with foil. Strain the tomatoes saving the juice. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes by rinsing them in water. Place in a single layer on the foil lined pans. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the tomatoes. Bake for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.

While the tomatoes are baking, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the chopped shallots and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Add the tomato juice and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot. If you do not have an immersion blender, strain the tomatoes from the liquid, puree it in a food processor or blender and then add it back to the pot. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.

Planning ahead.
I like to serve this with fresh croutons. To make croutons, cut a sourdough baguette into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown.