1. In a 3 or 4-quart non-aluminum pot*, bring broth to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and stir in soup mix. Return to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato puree and brown sugar.
4. Return to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Reduce heat and slowly stir in the cream.
6. Continue cooking, uncovered on low for 5 minutes, and serve!
*Aluminum reacts with the acid in tomatoes and may cause a metallic taste.
To boost vegetables, add 1 1/2 cups chopped, fresh or frozen carrots or cauliflower with the soup mix.
For creamy texture, add broth and mash vegetables into the soup as they cook (or use hand immersion blender to puree).
To boost whole grains, and to further thicken soup, add 1 cup quick oatmeal in final 10 minutes of cooking. Puree soup with hand immersion blender.
To give a Mediterranean twist, add 3/4 lb. shrimp or cut up, firm white fish in final 5 minutes of cooking. For Inventive Variations suggestions on the package or website, garnish each serving with a dollop of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt or sliced avocados rather than crumbled feta, blue or Parmesan cheese.
To cut saturated fat, substitute low-fat buttermilk for cream.
To cut sodium, prepare with no salt added tomato puree and low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.
To cut added sugar, prepare with 1 tablespoon instead of 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
Add 3/4 lb fresh shrimp, peeled, and deveined for last 5 minutes of cooking. Garnish each serving with 1/2 cup crumbled feta, blue or parmesan cheese.