This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen. Since this recipe uses canned tomatoes, it is consistantly delicious year round. And I love that it has a creamy texture without any dairy. Make a big pot and then freeze the leftovers (if there are any!) in small containers for easy meals in the future.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
pinch hot red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 T brown sugar
3 large slices good-quality white sandwich bread (rice bread to make it gluten free), torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken or vegetable (vegan) broth
salt and pepper to taste
2T brandy (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Heat 2 T oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and continue to cook 10 minutes or until onions start to caramelize. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Transfer half of soup to a blender, add 1T olive oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in broth and brandy (optional). Return soup to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.