It was below freezing here in New England this past weekend… certainly not my choice of weather. Nothing warms you up better than a hearty bowl of soup. This is a great one to make this Winter because it doesn’t require fresh tomatoes. It does, however, use other fresh vegetables that are always in-season, which really add to the overall depth of flavor. This recipe is pretty straight-forward but there are so many others out there that I can’t wait to try! I’d like to try one that is Moroccan or French inspired and one with fresh roasted tomatoes when they are in-season. I’ll add those to my bucket list. I’m sorry I can’t say that there is anything particularly exciting or exotic about this dish – just some damn good home-cooking.
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup (adapted from Michael Chiarello via Food Network)
- 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I did not use)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain cans of tomatoes, reserving juice for later. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil on foil-lined baking sheet along with diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through baking.
- Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic, cooking until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juices, chicken broth, bay leaves and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Serves 4.
I don’t think I need to post a recipe for grilled cheese but you never know! Here’s one for everyone that needs a lesson every now and again.
One of my fiance’s favorite things to eat while I travel on business is Progresso Tomato Basil Soup. He eats that with grilled cheese every time I’m gone. I give him credit – it is a pretty classic combo. Now that I’m done traveling for the year, I decided to make him homemade tomato soup. He gave it two thumbs up and said it was better than Progresso.
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