Here is a lightened up version of the classic Cream of Tomato Soup. The taste and texture of this soup belie its ingredients as it contains no cream. Roasted Garlic Cream of Tomato soup is thickened primarily with pureed Yukon gold potatoes and infused with sweet, mellow, roasted garlic.
The roasted garlic gives this soup a terrific flavor boost. It adds an extra step to the recipe but it can be done ahead of time and even frozen for later use. Roasted garlic is so simple to make. Drizzle olive oil over a head of garlic and wrap it up in aluminum foil. (Some recipes will tell you to slice off the top of the head of garlic – this isn’t necessary- the garlic roasts just fine left intact.) Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Here’s what the garlic should look like when you unwrap it – a little golden brown in spots and slightly soft to the touch.
Separate each clove of garlic and squeeze it out of its papery skin. The cloves should pop out easily.
Roasted Garlic Cream of Tomato Soup is warm, satisfying, and rich without being heavy. It’s perfect with a piece of crusty French bread or a grilled cheese sandwich.
I highly recommend fresh basil as a garnish. It adds a pop of contrasting color and another delicious layer of flavor.
- 1 head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 or 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes (with all the juices)
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 lb. total) peeled and chopped into ½ in. chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 9 large fresh basil leaves - chopped or whole (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the head of garlic on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and then wrap the foil around the garlic to fully encase it. Place on a small pan and roast it on the bottom rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Let cool completely then unwrap the package and squeeze the garlic out of its skin - set aside.
- Melt butter over medium high heat in a Dutch oven and sauté the onion and carrots for 5 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, broth, potatoes, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a toothpick, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and add the roasted garlic. Using an immersion blender puree the mixture until it’s smooth. (You can also do this in a blender or food processor but you'll have to do it in batches.) Add the milk and parmesan cheese and blend once more to fully combine the dairy/milk and cheese. Season with more salt and pepper and garnish with fresh basil if desired.
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