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Milk Street Recipe

Butter-Braised Tomato Soup

40 minutes

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Butter-Braised Tomato Soup

In “The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking,” Marcella Hazan shared her now-famous recipe for a sublimely delicious, remarkably simple sauce made with nothing more than tomatoes, onion and butter. This soup turns that sauce into a light meal. If you own an immersion blender, the soup can be pureed directly in the pot, but the texture won’t be as velvety as if processed in a conventional blender. We top individual bowlfuls with olive oil-toasted baguette slices, a dollop of pesto and shaved Parmesan. Homemade pesto is best, of course, but store-bought is fine; we’ve found, however, that refrigerated pesto tastes fresher than the shelf-stable type sold in jars. A Y-style vegetable peeler is the best tool for planing off wide, thin shavings from a chunk of Parmesan cheese.




Don’t use underripe tomatoes. The best soup is made with ripe, in-season tomatoes. However, in non-summer months, Campari tomatoes (also known as cocktail tomatoes) work almost as well. We don’t recommend cherry or grape tomatoes, as their tough skins don’t puree well.

40 minutes

Mia L.

Very tasty and easy to make! My 3yo also enjoyed it!

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