- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
- 2 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, including the juice
- 2-3 cups water or tomato juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves for garnish, optional
1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onion and carrot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften (3-5 minutes). Add the tomato paste, lower the heat a bit, and continue to cook, stirring to coat the vegetables with the paste, until the paste begins to darken--don't let it burn (1-2 minutes).
2. Strip the thyme leaves from the stem and add them to the pot along with the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down (10-15 minutes). Add 2 cups of the water or juice and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently. Let cook until the flavors meld (5 more minutes).
3. Taste and adjust the seasoning; if the soup tastes flat (but salty enough), stir in the sugar. If it's too thick, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time. If it's too thin, cook until it thickens and reduces slightly (this will also intensify the flavors). Garnish with basil, if using, and serve.
Change It Up!
Hearty Tomato Soup: Add 1/2 cup white rice, bulgur, or couscous with the water in Step 2, along with 1 more cup liquid. Cook until the grain is tender (5-15 minutes) and be prepared to add a little more water if the soup gets too thick.
Spiced Tomato Soup: Instead of the fresh thyme and basil, add 1 TBSP curry or chili powder or 1 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón) along with the tomato paste in Step 1.
- Total Time: To ramp up heartiness but not fat or calories, purée half the batch in a blender, then stir it back into the pot.
- Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
|Calories per serving:||129|
|Fat per serving:||7.3g|
|Saturated fat per serving:||1g|
|Monounsaturated fat per serving:||5g|
|Polyunsaturated fat per serving:||0.9g|
|Protein per serving:||3g|
|Carbohydrate per serving:||16g|
|Fiber per serving:||4g|
|Cholesterol per serving:||0.0mg|
|Iron per serving:||1mg|
|Sodium per serving:||174mg|
|Calcium per serving:||42mg|
Good to Know
Tomatoes are more nutritious cooked than raw, because heat increases the amount of lycopene you absorb.