We love vegetable soup around here.
Rich in vegetables, beans and whole grains, these soups are inexpensive, filling, high in fiber and vitamins, low in calories, and kid-friendly, too. Vegetables that my son would normally reject are happily gobbled up by the steaming bowlful.
One of my favorite soups is Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup, from Good Housekeeping Magazine. It is colorful, nutritious and fast to make. You can throw it together in fifteen minutes and have it on the table in another 10 minutes.
Another favorite supper at my house is the classic combo of grilled cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup. Making the cream of tomato soup from scratch is really easy and makes a huge difference.
The Pioneer Women Cooks has a Sherried Tomato Soup that is over-the-top decadent. Ree cleverly uses a bottle of tomato juice and canned tomatoes for her base and serves the soup with fabulous buttered herb bread.
I made an alcohol-free, lower fat, super-easy version of Ree’s soup that my family went crazy over. My husband now insists that we have a large bottle of tomato juice in the house at all times so that we can have this soup.
I served this for dinner tonight with the leftover mac & cheese (which actually improved in flavor on reheating), fried fish, and steamed peas. So yummy. And so kid friendly.
Creamy Tomato Soup
(very, very loosely adapted from Ree Drummond)Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender:
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with onions
In a large saucepan, combine the pureed tomatoes with:
3 cups of tomato juice (half of a 46 ounce jar)
Heat the tomato mixture until hot and then add:
12 ounce can evaporated milk
Warm the soup and season to taste with:
freshly ground pepper
grated Parmesan (optional, gives a depth and savoriness)
1-2 Tablespoons butter (optional, enriches and smooths the flavor)
1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste (optional, offsets the acidity of the tomatoes)
That’s it. Wasn’t that easy? Serve the soup.
Extra: If you want to make a cream of tomato soup without the cream, Cook’s Illustrated magazine has the solution: bread! Pureed with the tomatoes, white sandwich bread nicely thickens the soup. Fans of Italian cuisine will recognize this as a riff on the classic soup Pappa al Pomodoro. Check out the recipe for Creamy Creamless Tomato Soup here.
update: I have made this soup lots of times and I have some more tips. First of all, you can use plain diced tomatoes (without onions). I tried making this with whole milk and it curdled. I took a Tablespoon of cornstarch and mixed it with some water to make a slurry and added this to the soup. It seemed to help pull the soup back together. I also added in 1-2 Tablspoons brown sugar, a pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, a blob of whipped cream cheese, and some grated Parmesan. I think this soup would work with light cream, half and half, etc. It is nice served with grilled cheese or quesadillas. Toasted corn tortillas are nice, too.