Progressive Christmas Tea Party: Savory Tomato Soup with Herbed Yogurt

This is a very light soup topped with a low-calorie alternative to the usual sour cream. It makes a very nice way to start the Progressive Christmas Tea Party.

1 orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons dried marjoram
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 14-16 ounce can peeled tomatoes, undrained
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Herbed Yogurt:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 green onions, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, minced

Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from orange. Reserve the fruit for another use. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add orange peel, onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are tender and golden, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove orange peel.

Stir in herbs, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook until cumin is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and stock and bring to boil. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 8 full servings or 16 smaller tea party servings.

For yogurt: Combine ingredients in small bowl. Use to top soup just before serving.