Rachael Ray's Tomato Soup with Polenta
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Rachael Ray's Tomato Soup with Polenta

Sorry, grilled cheese. Quick-cooking polenta is tomato soup's new BFF.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated

  • 1 small stalk celery with leafy top, chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 tbsp. Calabrian chile paste or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper

  • Salt

  • 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 1 can (28 oz.) San Marzano tomatoes

  • About 1/3 cup quick-cooking polenta

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream

  • A few fresh basil leaves, torn, for topping

  • Freshly grate Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping

Preparation

  • Step 1

    In a large pot or soup pot, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Melt the butter into the oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and chile paste; season with salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then the stock. Bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring and breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer at a low boil until the flavors meld, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. (Or, working carefully in batches in a regular blender, puree the soup and return it to the pot.) Whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until the polenta is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream; season with salt. (If the soup gets too thick, add water to thin it.)

  • Step 3

    Serve the soup in shallow bowls. Top with the torn basil leaves and Parm.

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