Best Tomato Soup

from Kate the Great (hi Kate--no, really, I'm not that weird and thanks for the recipe)

Makes: 6-10 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Cost: $2.15 (this is about $.21/serving)

butter: .25, bacon: .15, carrot: .10, onion: .10, garlic: .05, flour: .02, broth: free if its homemade; from granules, I'm guessing about .25, crushed tomatoes: 1.20, herbs: .03

And now, several notes:

1. If you don't have bacon, I bet lard instead of butter would still give that bacony undertone. That said, who has lard but not bacon. 

2. I actually liked this even better before adding the cream and sour cream. If you don't add cream/sour cream, or reduce it substantially, you will need less salt, as the creaminess demands more salt. This is also a bonus to skipping the creams if you wish. Originally, I used 4 1/2 C water with 3 tsp Better than Bullion. After I added the creams, I needed another 1/2 tsp Better than Bullion. In short, if you skip the creams or reduce them a lot, you can probably use reduced sodium broth, or less chicken granules/bullion (or whatever it is you use) or you could use a homemade stock and not need to add as much salt to the mix. That said, some people might love the creamy additions--also they'll keep you full longer if this is a dinner (And don't get me wrong; I certainly liked them; I just liked the soup a wee bit better without them.)

3. If you don't have fresh herbs, just throw in 1/4-1/2 tsp of each as dried herbs. 

4. I just used crushed tomatoes from a can, but I'm itching to try some of my home roasted pureed tomatoes. I think it'll be awesome. 

4 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

1 slice bacon (just for flavor; you're going to remove this at the end)

1 spanish onion (this is a large, sweet, mild onion; I didn't have one so used 1/2 of a regular yellow onion)

1 carrot

4 cloves garlic

5 Tbsp flour

4 1/2 C chicken broth 

1 28-ox can crushed tomatoes (unseasoned)

3 fresh parsley spring

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/2 C heavy cream

1/2 C sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter and fry the slice of bacon. Lower heat to medium or a bit lower. Add onion, carrot, and garlic and cover, stirring occasionally until they're soft. 

Whisk in flour and stir it for 1-2 minutes.

Pour in broth and crushed tomatoes. 

Bring to a boil, whisking constantly

Throw herbs in soup. 

Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Remove the herb springs and leaf. Let cool slightly and then puree or use an immersion blender. 

If desired whisk in cream and sour cream. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: