Creamy tomato soup is the epitome of comfort food in a bowl. Add a little fresh bread, maybe some cheese, and a glass of wine (see our story on winter wines), and you’ve got the perfect winter feast. This slow cooker creamy tomato soup recipe, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen, is easy to make, freezes well and is guaranteed to hit the spot.
Why this recipe works: Making a deeply flavored tomato soup is hard enough on the stovetop, but getting the consistency right in a slow cooker seemed daunting at best. First, there was the issue of the tomatoes (fresh or canned?), and second, the matter of technique (how to add flavor and texture to the soup). Since perfectly ripe tomatoes are available just a few weeks a year, we turned to our trusty standby, canned diced tomatoes, which are reliable and prep-free. As for technique, we started by building an aromatic base by microwaving onion and other aromatic ingredients. To add richness, we incorporated heavy cream and dry sherry after the soup was pureed. Serve with Classic Croutons.
Serves: 6 to 8
Cooking time: 4 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high
Slow cooker size: 4 to 7 quarts
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry
- Microwave onion, butter, flour, sugar, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, and cayenne in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, broth, and bay leaves. Cover and cook until flavors meld, 4 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high.
- Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return soup to slow cooker and stir in cream and sherry. Adjust consistency with extra hot broth as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.