Cozy, comforting, and surprisingly simple to make. Admittedly not as simple as opening a can, but still easy—and exponentially more satisfying.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or minced
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- One 28-ounce can whole, crushed, or diced tomatoes
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, thyme, oregano, or a combination, plus whole leaves for (optional) garnish
- 1 cup milk
- Crème fraiche and/or croutons, for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and 3 cups of broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool slightly.
Add the marjoram, then use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor to puree the soup. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the milk and additional broth, if necessary, to thin the soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
If you like, serve garnished with crème fraiche, croutons, and/or herbs. (You can make the soup in advance. Cool it, then store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to several months.)