Sure, opening a can is quick, but making this soup is as quick and easy as it gets. Maybe a few minutes more works, but the pay-off in taste is worth the minimal extra effort. No unpronounceable ingredients, no metallic aftertaste, no unnecessary added sodium. The slow cooker and some ready prepared ingredients make it a snap to have fresh, flavorful soup with ingredients you chose, seasoned the way you like…
Simple slow cooker tomato soup
Make sure your vegetables and tomatoes have no added ingredients.
Serves 6 – 8
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 package frozen carrots, celery and onions (“mirepoix blend”), thawed and drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic (freshly minced or from a jar)
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 32-ounce box low-sodium chicken broth
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the crock of a 7-quart slow cooker. Partially cover and leave for a few minutes to melt. Add the vegetables and garlic, stir to coat with the butter, cover the slow cooker and leave to soften, about 20 minutes.
2. Pour the tomatoes and broth into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Tie the sprigs of thyme and oregano together with kitchen twine to make a neat little bundle. It is OK if leaves come off, but you don’t want stems in your soup. Tuck the herb bundle into the soup, cover the slow cooker and cook for 5 to 6 hours on high, or 7 to 8 hours on low.
3. When ready to serve, fish out the herb bundle and discard. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth (you can also do it carefully in batches in a blender). Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want a creamier soup, stir in the heavy cream and leave to warm through.
Add 1 tablespoon curry powder to the vegetables, omit the herbs, and stir in 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
Add a small can of chopped green chiles to the vegetables, omit the herbs
Stir in a can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans 20 minutes before the end of cooking time and warm through.
Stir in some cooked pasta or rice at the end of cooking until warmed through.
30 minutes before the cooking time ends, stir in some finely chopped spinach and cook until wilted and warmed through.
Tag Archive for tomatoes
Let’s Not Overthink This Tomato and Mushroom sauce for pasta – adapted from one of Marcella Hazan’s great tomato sauce recipes.
Five ingredients, and no spices except a pinch of salt. The objective here is to taste (and enjoy) tomatoes and mushrooms.
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
4 oz (by weight) white mushrooms, sliced thick
4 tablespoons fat – recommended, 2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter into olive oil over low heat. Add sliced mushrooms and salt and cook uncovered over low-medium heat for about five minutes (you’re making mushroom-flavored oil, y’all.)
Crush up the canned tomatoes in your fingers as you drop them into the pot, and add the liquid from the can. Simmer low, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk, sieve or stick-blend the sauce before serving.
In Turkey this dish is called Menemen (where the eggs are usually scrambled) and in most of North Africa and Israel it’s called Shakshuka. Even Italy has its version called Uova al Purgatorio (but without the garbanzos).
It’s not hard to have almost every ingredient on hand to make this dish on the fly; canned tomatoes and garbanzos are staples in my pantry, as are the spices. Onions, eggs, and even feta cheese are almost always in my ‘fridge. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly, cutting it in half to serve two, and adding a few spices (the addition of sumac really enhances the middle eastern flavor for me and I prefer the smoked paprika to sweet).
This dish would be a great brunch item for a crowd. If you want to do that, I’d recommend making a large batch of the sauce (recipe x 4) in a pot on the stove and then transferring it to a large baking dish (like for lasagna or casserole) and then adding the eggs and baking it in the oven. Not only is this a great breakfast/brunch dish, but I think it would make a delicious quick weeknight dinner and would be perfect for Meatless Mondays.