Creamy Tomato Soup as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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One of the most popular types of comfort food combinations is the soup and sandwich. And, one of the most popular soup/sandwich combinations is tomato soup and grilled cheese. For my Vintage Classics episode on GHL I prepared Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese with farm fresh bread, cured French ham and aged cheddar. For the ultimate tomato soup I combined a mix of fresh ripe San Marzano plum tomatoes and canned San Marzano tomatoes. During peak harvest season when there is a plentiful supply of farm fresh tomatoes available I would use all fresh, but during shoulder seasons I will mix with high quality San Marzano canned tomatoes. 

Once all your ingredients are assembled comfort can be achieved in about thirty minutes. Mmm Mmm Good!!! 

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George’s Creamy Tomato Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

5 large ripe San Marzano Plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons sweet butter

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2-4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

2- 15 ounce cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, basil

hot sauce, sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 cup half-and-half 

Pre heat a large 4 quart soup pot.

Add olive oil, onion, garlic and fresh plum tomatoes. Stir and sweat 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the butter and when melted, then add the flour, sir and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the canned San Marzano tomatoes, stir, and simmer 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, and dried basil, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add fresh basil and simmer for 5 additional minutes. 

Remove bay leaves and take the soup off the stove. For a creamier soup use a food pulser and puree slightly leaving a few chunks of tomatoes. Return back to stove and bring back to a boil, and add the optional half-and-half. 

Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes.  

Add hot sauce, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Served topped with crunchy croutons and a few drops of olive oil.