Saturday, January 27, 2007

Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup

Tonight I made this tomato soup recipe from the October 2005 issue of Cooking Light. We ate it with grilled cheese sandwiches. It was very tasty. I used vegetable broth instead of beef broth (obviously) and didn't strain the soup (because I don't own a strainer). I really liked this a lot. It was pretty simple, even though it cooks for a long time. I would definitely make this again whenever I am craving tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup
Cooking the vegetables at the high temperature of 500° caramelizes their natural sugars and deepens their flavor; the liquid poured over them ensures they won't burn. Prepare the soup up to two days ahead; reheat over medium heat before serving.

1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained
Cooking spray
3/4 cup half-and-half
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°.

Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500° for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

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