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Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

28 Aug

Though I already have a recipe posted for a healthy tomato soup, I wanted to make another version that is a bit easier.  First, I decided to skip the usual step of blanching the tomatoes.  While it lends a bit to consistency, it isn’t absolutely essential.  Second, I decided to make use of a slow cooker, which makes the process very hands off, with the exception of processing the ingredients toward the end.  Though most tomato soup recipes call for water or chicken broth as the base, I prefer to use beef stock in a tomato soup.  It adds an additional depth of richness and comfort that pairs well with the brightness of fresh summer tomatoes.  The basil adds another layer of delicious, herbaceous flavor and really knocks this super-simple soup out of the park.  If you’re a fan of rich, hearty tomato soup but don’t like the idea of all of the sodium and additives in a can or the fat and calories that come from cream or a rue¹, this version is absolutely perfect for you.

Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

1 tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 bay leaves

3 cups homemade beef stock

Half dozen multi-colored cherry tomatoes

3 medium tomatoes, seeds removed

About a dozen large basil leaves

1 tbs. tomato paste

Splash red wine vinegar

Set slow cooker to high.  Add olive oil, onions and bay leaves.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Let cook, covered, about an hour until lightly caramelized.

Add beef stock, tomatoes, and basil.  Cover and let cook at least 4-6 hours.

Remove bay leaves.  Transfer contents of slow cooker, working in batches if necessary, to a food processor or blender.  Blend until mostly smooth or desired consistency.  Return to the slow cooker and switch setting to low.  Stir in tomato paste and red wine vinegar.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.  Simmer another hour or so until thickened.  Serve.

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