2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder-Madras-Optional. If you prefer an herb: 2 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28-oz.can Italian plum tomatoes
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
4-5 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock (homemade, or store-bought is fine. I use Better Than Bouillion Base)
2 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes-packed in oil, chopped (if using sun-dried tomatoes not packed in oil, pour 1/2 cup hot water over the tomatoes to soften)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 slices or Artisan Bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain the plum tomatoes, reserving the juice to add to the soup. Cut the drained plum tomatoes in half and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned. Remove and add to the soup with the diced tomatoes.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat with the olive oil, onion, celery, and cook covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, curry powder, and crushed red pepper. Cook an additional 1 minute.
- Add the canned diced tomatoes, roasted plum tomatoes their reserved juice, and the stock. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low, partially cover, and cook at a simmer for 40 minutes.
- To prepare the croutons: Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat with the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the bread cubes and gently toss to coat the cubes in the oil. Cook, moving the cubes occasionally until browned and crisp. Sprinkle with a little salt, cool in the pan until ready to serve the soup.
- To finish the soup: Puree the soup with the sun-dried tomatoes using an immersion blender, standing blender or food processor. If using a regular blender or food processor, remove the solids and process the solids until smooth. Add the pureed solids back into the broth.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot or cold with croutons on top for garnish.
- Chunky Tomato Soup: Don’t puree the soup.
- Tomato Sauce: Reduce the stock to 2 cups, puree as directed and serve over pasta.
- Cream of Tomato Soup: Decrease the chicken stock by 1 cup add 1 cup heavy cream just prior to serving.
- Tomato Spinach Soup: Add chopped fresh baby spinach or arugula to the soup after it has been pureed and cook with the sliced cherry tomatoes for 10 minutes.
- Shrimp Tomato Soup: Add 1-pound U26 raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) to the pureed soup and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque. For added shrimp flavor, cook the shrimp shells in 3cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, and replace 3 cups of whichever stock you are using with the shrimp broth.
- Butternut squash croutons: Roast 2 cups butternut squash that have been cut into 1-inch cubes and tossed and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast in a 450-degree oven for 10 minutes or until browned around the edges and fork tender. Serve on top of the soup as garnish.
- Add any of the following to the soup recipe: Canned beans, shredded chicken, cooked sausage, cooked ground beef, sauteed mushrooms.