Tomato Soup (Potage à la Tomate)
This soup is typical of most French seasonal soups. So rich in tomato flavor, it must have been created by a farmer’s wife to take advantage of an overabundance of sun-ripened tomatoes at the end of the summer. Thickened with other vegetables, this soup is the essence of summer.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
Combine the tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Either pass the soup through a food mill into another saucepan, or remove and discard the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf and puree in a blender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the crème fraîche or sour cream before serving.