Creamy Tomato Soup — Winter/Spring Recipe w/ Canned Tomatoes
An unexpected package arrived from my sister in Arizona. Removing the bubble wrap revealed a large can of Italian San Marzano tomatoes. I’ve read and heard about these tomatoes for years, though never tasted them. With a light spring rain outside and colder temperatures in the forecast, soup was on my mind. And that can of tomatoes began calling my name. Then I remembered Bernard Clayton’s Creamy Tomato Soup. We occasionally served it during my Los Angeles catering days. Using no stock, Clayton’s unique Creamy Tomato Soup relies on the tomatoes and a touch of cream to do it all—flavor, color and texture.
Would my canned tomatoes be up to the task?
Loved the fresh taste and deep color of the San Marzanos. They make a rich and flavorful Creamy Tomato Soup. Not as pleased though with the BPA-lined cans they come in. So, I’ve tested the soup again using organic tomatoes from Muir Glen. Their tomatoes come in cans without BPA. These cans are lined in a bright coppery colored, rather than white, inside lining.
Update 4/10/13: just found this information on the Cento site regarding BPA: “Unfortunately, all tin products contain BPA. However, we only use tin that is guaranteed to contain the lowest possible amount of BPA. This type of tin has been proven harmless in countless scientific studies. We assure you that as new technology becomes available, Cento will be the industry leader in removing all BPA from our cans.”
Two more times in two days
Actually, I’ve prepared this Creamy Tomato Soup any number of times over the years. Sometimes using slow-roasted tomatoes, sometimes using a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes. Though never with only canned tomatoes until this past week. Another possibility would be to make this soup with fire-roasted canned tomatoes. They would certainly add additional depth of flavor.
High-quality canned tomatoes have their place. They let us enjoy Creamy Tomato Soup in the winter and spring before fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes arrive.
Bozeman Healthy Cooking Classes
Join me in celebrating Spring’s bounty with lighter dishes and cooking techniques. Both April 27th and May 18th’s healthy cooking classes feature an abundance of Spring vegetables and fruits.
Asparagus and strawberries, leeks and rhubarb have just begun arriving in our local markets. As Spring progresses, they’ll be even tastier–just in time for our classes.
Join me for one or both Healthy Cooking Classes.
Each 3-hour class is $60 per person.
Register today as space is limited.
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to reserve your seat at the table.
Creamy Tomato Soup w/ Almond Cream
Inspired by and adapted from a recipe from Bernard Clayton.
Amazingly rich tomato flavor in this quick and easy winter/spring soup made from canned or even your own frozen tomatoes. Puréed vegetables and almond cream make this tomato soup thick and creamy. Non-dairy, gluten-free and vegan.
Makes 8½-9 cups
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil (or could use half olive oil, half butter)
2 cups (8-ounces) onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups (10 ounces) carrots, thickly sliced
2 cups (6 ounces) celery, thickly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
42 ounces peeled, whole canned or frozen tomatoes (one 28-ounce can plus one 14.5-ounce can)
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
½ ounce fresh basil
½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1 bay leaf
10 twists freshly ground pepper
½ cup slivered almonds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place a medium soup pot over medium heat. When hot stir in the olive oil (and butter if using it). Add the onion, carrots and celery. Sprinkle with the salt. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables begin to color and soften, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, basil, parsley, bay and freshly ground pepper. Rinse the cans of tomatoes with 2 tablespoons water and add to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat. Let the tomato mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. All the vegetables will be very tender.
- While the tomato mixture is cooking, prepare the almond cream. Blend together the slivered almonds with 1 cup of water till smooth, about 3-5 minutes depending on your blender.
- Once the vegetables are tender, remove the fresh thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Use a blender to purée the soup in three batches.
- Place the puréed soup along with the almond cream into a clean soup pot. Swirl ½ cup water in the blender jar and pour this mixture into the soup. Add additional water if you prefer a thinner soup. Adjust the salt to taste.
- Serve Creamy Tomato Soup garnished with fresh herbs.