This recipe is so good I don't even bother looking for a better one. It's got 14g LESS fat than regular homemade tomato soup (aka, w/cream or whole milk). This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. We are kind of obsessed with America's Test Kitchen and own a couple of their cook books as well as an entire season of TV episodes where you can watch them make this goodness.
So what's wrong with regular tomato soup? Well when you add cream to tomato soup, it dulls the flavor, not to mention adds tons of fat and calories nobody needs. America's Test Kitchen's (hereto referred to as ATK) solution was to.................add bread! Yes bread. It gives it a nice creaminess without taking away from the tomato flavor as well as thickens the soup just to the right consistency.
Here's the recipe:
::1/4 extra virgin olive oil
:: 1 minced onion (i use a large one)
:: 3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
::pinch red pepper flakes
::1 bay leaf
::2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (you can also used diced, which is easier)
:: 1 TB light or dark brown sugar
:: 3 slices of high-quality white sandwich bread torn into 1-inch pieces (crusts removed! very important!)
:: 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
:: 2 TB brandy (optional)
:: salt and pepper
::1/4 cup minced fresh chives (I don't use that much)
1. Heat 2 TB of oil in a large Dutch oven (or pot) over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 min.
2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher (or large serving fork), mash the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Stir in the sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with the remaining 2 TB of olive oil in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the brandy and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chives in individual bowls.