Creamy Tomato Soup with Toasted Almonds
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
- 1 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, very thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib, very thinly sliced
- Four 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for 5 minutes, until golden.
- Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced onions, garlic and celery, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the diced tomatoes and their juices, the tomato paste and sugar and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and cayenne. Season the soup with salt and black pepper and cook it for 10 minutes longer.
- In a blender, puree the soup in batches. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream and orange zest. Simmer the soup over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Transfer the soup to shallow bowls, garnish with the toasted almonds and serve
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