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300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds
While vodka has been a popular addition to tomato sauce for some time now, it also works well in soup. It may not have occurred to you to mix your cocktail with your first course, but the vodka adds a lovely but subtle flavor.
Serves 4 to 6


• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 can (28 oz) plum (Roma) tomatoes, with juice
• 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup whipping (35%) cream
• 1/4. cup vodka
• 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Garlic Croutons


In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and saute until paste turns a rusty brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, stock, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

2. Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary, and reheat over medium heat until steaming. Stir in cream, vodka and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

3. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with croutons.

San Marzano tomatoes, imported from Italy, are thought by many to be the best canned tomatoes in the world. They hail from a small town of the same name near Naples, whose volcanic soil is thought to filter impurities from the water and render tomatoes with a thick flesh, fewer seeds and a stronger taste. Look for the words "San Marzano" on the label to be sure you're getting the best.


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