Classic tomato soup; is there anything better?
When it came to throwing a pot of this good stuff together, I found myself torn. Tomato basil soup is trending, and throwing roasted red peppers into the mix puts a nice spin on things—but why mess with a classic when your heart is pining for the thick and creamy tomato-y goodness you mowed down as a child?
I just couldn’t deny my heart a plain n’ simple tomato soup.
The soup stands on its own. The pesto grilled cheese croutons were included to scratch my creative itch since I kept things really simple with the soup; the pesto grilled cheese croutons are optional.
(Are they, though?)
Keeping it simple.
I used canned tomatoes in this recipe and I have zero shame. Sure, a lot of recipes out there call for fresh, but hi, it’s December. So I went for canned and won anyway. I added a rib of celery—because celery belongs in almost every soup—an onion, and smashed garlic cloves.
I usually substitute heavy cream with plain Greek yogurt in my creamy soups, but I stuck with the cream in this case. If you opt for plain Greek yogurt instead, please let me know how it turns out! I imagine it would be just as scrumptious.
Kick the acidity with science.
When I was trying to perfect my homemade tomato sauce a few years ago, I had a hard time cutting the acidity. (I like my sauce on the smoother side.) I can’t tell you how many people told me to use sugar, but it never worked for me.
Lo and behold, baking soda gets the job done—baking soda neutralizes acidity. Drop a bit of baking soda into your sauce, give it a stir, and watch it foam and fizzle like
Despite the advice of a certain celebrated ranch-dwelling diva who calls for six tablespoons of sugar in her tomato soup (SIX TABLESPOONS!!), I stuck to my trusty baking soda in this recipe and ended up with velvety smooth perfection.
If you make this recipe, please snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @killing__thyme! I love hearing from you <3
Classic Tomato Soup + Pesto Grilled Cheese Croutons
Classic Tomato Soup
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 14 oz cans of diced or crushed tomatoes, including juice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2-3 tsp sugar, to taste
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste if needed
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp baking soda, to cut acidity
Pesto Grilled Cheese Croutons (based on two servings)
- 2 slices bread, each buttered on one side
- 2 TBSP pesto
- mozzarella cheese however much of it you want!
Classic Tomato Soup
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and smashed garlic. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent—about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes as well as their juices, vegetable broth, heavy cream, sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a rolling boil over high heat and break up the tomatoes with a spoon or spatula. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup mixture to a powerful blender or food processor (you'll have to do this in batches), and blend until velvety smooth. Once all the soup is smooth, return it to its original stock pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you find the soup on the acidic side, bring it to a simmer, add the baking soda, and wait for it to foam and fizzle. Stir it, and let it simmer for about five minutes. Taste. You should have a smoother and much less acidic flavor now.
Pesto Grilled Cheese Croutons
- Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan over moderate heat.
- Slather one of the unbuttered sides of bread with pesto. Pile on the mozzarella, and close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up. Carefully place on the heated pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully flip, and again cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese has melted.
- Remove from the pan and set on a cutting board. Allow it to cool for a few moments. Once cooled enough to handle, carefully cut the sandwich into cubes.
- Spoon the soup into bowls, and garnish each bowl with the grilled cheese croutons.