Classic Cream of Tomato Soup Makes: 4-6 Servings
4 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (15 oz.) can of whole peeled tomatoes; in juice and crushed by hand
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Crème fraîche, croutons, and finely chopped chives for garnish
Heat bacon in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat, and cook until its fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Add butter, and increase temperature to medium-high; add garlic, onion, and carrot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes more. Add stock, thyme, bay leaf, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and purée; return to saucepan, and stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls; dollop with crème fraîche, and sprinkle with croutons and chives.