Tomato Soup

For this soup, canned crushed tomatoes are used in place of fresh tomatoes, so you can enjoy a taste of summer any time of year. However, if you are creating it in the summer and have fresh tomatoes, I highly recommend using them instead.  The crostini with fresh mozzarella cheese complements the dish nicely and is my take on a caprese salad – soup style. Serves 4 as a meal or 8 as a starter.

Ingredients

Crostini
1/2 of a baguette thinly sliced on a diagonal – 8 pieces
Non-stick cooking spray
8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
Soup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of a yellow onion chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large cloves of garlic crushed through a garlic press
1- 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of fresh basil chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of cream
Garnish
4 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
Basil (optional)

Technique

In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and onions and sauté until soft. Add sugar and garlic and sauté for a minute longer. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. In batches, puree soup in a blender. Return to pot and add cream and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. While soup is simmering cook the bacon and crumble. For croistini, spray both side of baguette with non-stick cooking spray, add a slice of mozzarella to each piece of bread and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 8 – 10 more minutes or until cheese has melted. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with bacon and basil and serve crostini along side soup.

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