Tomato Soup

Everyone needs an easy tomato soup recipe for comforting nights in and easy lunches to go. I knew it was the perfect opportunity to make my basic recipe after I hauled back a large sourdough home from San Francisco. Yep, I was that person. And I am so glad I did because it made amazing grilled cheese to go with my soup. I call this recipe basic as it has no real surprises to it, but that does not take away from how delicious it is. Unlike many tomato soups with heavy cream, I have added half and half. It gives you that hint of creaminess, without all the guilt. A tip for your grilled cheese is to use a panini press, but if you do not have one, a plate and a kettle full of water pressing down on each sandwich will do just as well. I have eaten this meal three times already, my sourdough is almost gone and I know I should have made more tomato soup to freeze. Best thing is, this is so easy to make I might just repeat it tomorrow.

Tomato Soup
Forks & Amusement 2011
serves 6-8

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
salt and pepper
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper to taste (optional if you like a bit of heat)
2-48oz cans diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
5 large basil leaves, chopped

Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot add the onion and carrot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sweat until onions are translucent and carrots soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper generously and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.

If you have an emersion blender, blend soup in the pot. If not, place small amounts of the soup in a blender and puree to desired consistency (I like a little chunky, but go as smooth as you like it). **Be careful not to overfill blender and to let the soup cool a bit. Otherwise you will have tomato soup all over your kitchen, trust me I did it** Return soup back to pot once it has all been pureed.

Warm soup up if needed, add in the half and half and 3/4 of the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm with a bit more basil sprinkled on top.


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