Tomato Soup

It is officially soup season.  Despite the temperatures bouncing from the 70’s down to the 50’s on a daily basis, it is most definitely fall.  Fall is my favorite season…full of colors, leaves, sweaters, boots, scarves, yummy food.

On the first few chilly nights of fall, I always get a craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese.
Fortunately I was looking through my new magazines and came across some yummy new recipes for both.  I like this take on tomato soup.  The orzo is a nice addition and the saffron is a flavor not usually featured here.  I added crushed red pepper and smoked hot paprika to kick up the spice factor.  It was a good call…definitely needed an extra depth of flavor and spice.  Play around with your favorite spices as you take cheater bites!

you will need:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 medium onions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 – 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
large pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup orzo
½ cup heavy cream

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, red pepper, paprika, thyme, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and add to the soup.  Stir in the cream.  Return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

serves: 6
time: 50 minutes
adapted from: Food Network Magazine – October 2012

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