True Tomato Soup

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I love the true flavor of tomatoes – in the summer when they are at their peak, I eat them like apples. They are tangy and salty and sweat and acidic – all good things. Although I love a creamy tomato soup as much as the next person, I wanted a soup that really highlighted the true flavor of the tomato. The creaminess in tomato soup often comes from cream or milk, which can add unnecessary calories.

The combination of whole, canned tomatoes and a few fresh tomatoes brings a fresh tomato flavor to this soup. Here, I used roasted garlic, but you could use fresh garlic if you prefer (just use less). Roasting brings sweetness out of the garlic, which balances the acidity of the tomato.  This could be served warm or chilled as a gazpacho.

True Tomato Soup

Roast 1 head garlic in advance (cover in wrap in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes). Bring a small pot of water to a low boil and add 2 beefsteak tomatoes, whole. When the skin begins to peel off, remove from heat and rinse in cold water. Peel off the skin and cut into quarters.

Sauté 1 cup diced onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add 4 cloves roasted garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute. Add a 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes including the juice, the blanched beefsteak tomatoes, and 3 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove soup from heat and blend until smooth (I prefer to use a hand blender, but you can use a regular blender as well). Return to medium heat and add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar. Serve warm or chilled.

Yield: 4 servings. Serving size: 2 cups. Per Serving: $2.06, 100 calories, 2g fat, 17g carbs, 4g protein.

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