Last week, after a walk with a girlfriend, we stopped off at Nordstrom for a bite in the Cafe. She raved about the tomato soup and so ultimately we split her soup and my salad. Admittedly I had not ever liked tomato soup, but that may have something to do with only having been served Campbell's and whatever the elementary school cafeteria ladies were dishing out. But this soup - it was kind of mind blowingly (totally a word, work with me) awesome. A conversation ensued - Wouldn't it be the most perfect thing to eat on a dark rainy day while watching Breakfast At Tiffany's? Only one way to find out... ❈
Well, since I'd never really eaten tomato soup before you can bet I'd never tried to make it. It took my friend the internet all of one second to bring up hundreds of recipes for the Nordstrom's Tomato Soup. It looked easy enough, but that cream... there must be a way to get a creamy soup without the cream, right? My next thoughts went to Cooks Illustrated. If anyone had tried it, it was them. Bingo - there it was. But... yeesh, that's a lot of steps for a
lazy busy girl like me... What if I just sort of took the best of both recipes and put them together?
It was easy. It was delicious. And then, it was gone. I'm making it again today and putting it in the freezer. When that rainy day comes, and my girlfriend calls and says (and she's the awesome kind that will), "This is SO a tomato soup and Breakfast At Tiffany's kind of day.....". I'll just smile to myself and say, "Be right over.". ❈
This recipe is based on this recipe:
With modifications/changes based on this recipe:
Tomato Soup for Breakfast At Tiffany's
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
- 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes - which I learned recently are the only choice for canned tomatoes, and after having tasted them, it's totally true!
- About 2 cups good chicken broth
- One slice (or the equivalent, I used the inside of a baguette) of good white bread, crust removed
- 1 tbsp brown sugar to cut acidity
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add carrots and onion and cook until beginning to soften, 10 minutes, then add basil and cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 5 minutes more.
(I sauteed the onion but grated the carrot and steamed it for a few minutes instead so it would be softer faster and then added it to the sauteed onions. Because of this I was able to use less olive oil due to the reduced volume in the saute, and this step took a lot less time - especially grating rather than chopping the carrots. I know, it's weird - you don't have to do it this way!)
Add tomatoes, broth, and bread. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes if time permits. (I added the tomatoes and smashed them all up with a potato masher per Cooks Illustrated before adding the broth and small torn up pieces of the bread. About 1/2 hour into the simmer time the bread starts really breaking down....if soup tastes too acidic, Cooks Illustrated recommends adding 1 tbsp of brown sugar.)
After allowing soup to cool somewhat, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, doing so in batches. Add additional chicken broth to thin if necessary (We thought it was just thick enough). Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. (I did not feel like it needed any additional seasoning.)