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Once you’ve discovered how easy it is to make a great tomato soup, you’ll wonder why you ever bought canned. For party flair, use mini cutters to cut sliced bread into shapes (stars, footballs, snowflakes, or simple triangles), which you can toast and float on top of the soup.
Note: this makes 8 appetizer servings or 3 to 4 meal-size servings.
1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and sugar, and cook 1 minute, or until tomato paste darkens. Stir in diced tomatoes, bouillon cube (if using), balsamic vinegar, thyme, and 4 cups water. Cover pan, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, and blend soup with immersion blender or in blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.