Classic Tomato Soup

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*Note: This soup can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated in a covered container. Warm over medium-low heat to serve.

*Serves 6 to 8


2 (28-ounces each) cans diced tomatoes

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream or fat free half-and-half


In a colander set over a large bowl or a liquid measuring cup, drain the canned tomatoes, pressing lightly to release all of their juices. Transfer the tomato juice to a large measuring cup (if you didn't strain the liquid into one in the first place) and add the chicken broth. The mixture should measure about 3 1/2 cups. Set the liquid and the tomatoes aside.

Melt the butter in a 4- 5-quart pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add 2/3 of the drained tomatoes, the bay leaf and the brown sugar. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are sizzling and fragrant. The mixture will be very thick.

Stir in the tomato paste and the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to darken, 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in the reserved tomato juice/broth mixture, the remaining tomatoes, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup in batches (in a blender) or use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.