May 15, 2023

We are now living in Florida permanently, so we do not experience cold weather very often. Every so often though, we’ll have a few weeks during the winter months where the temperatures drop and we have to wear jackets. When it comes to planning meals during cooler weather, I tend to crave warm, hearty soups, stews served on top of creamy polenta, bubbly baked pasta dishes, and comforting one-pan roasted dinners. I also like to make a big pot of vegetable soup at the beginning of each week that we can enjoy for lunch when we want to warm up. When I think of comforting soups, I cannot help but remember the creamy tomato soup that my Mother served me throughout my childhood. When we were not feeling well with a cold, or if we were not interested in eating what my Mother was preparing for dinner, my Mom would take a can of soup from the cupboard and mix it with milk. She would serve the soup with toast points to dip, or if we were really lucky grilled cheese sandwiches. To this day, I still enjoy a bowl or mug of hot creamy tomato soup although I prefer to prepare it from scratch rather than from a can.

This is such an easy recipe that every time I make it I wonder why I do not make it more often. Since it contains only a few ingredients with canned tomatoes being the primary and most important ingredient, I highly recommend that you buy the most flavorful tomatoes you can find. My favorite brands are Pomi, Muti, or Muir Glen tomatoes. Fresh basil is also a must-have as dried basil just doesn’t have the fresh vibrant flavor that fresh basil does. To serve this soup, you can garnish it with just about anything including crispy whole grain croutons, a swirl of Greek yogurt or sour cream, or even a spoonful of fresh basil pesto. I like to serve this soup with slices of crusty bread topped with cheese melted under the broiler, or I also enjoy it served in a mug with a sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Sweet Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 (28 Ounce) Can Crushed or Diced Tomatoes (See Notes Above)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 10 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Garnish of Choice (See Notes Above)

Instructions

  1. In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot, then add the onion.
  2. Cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes and then add the garlic.
  3. Cook another minute or two until fragrant.
  4. Tie the basil together with the rosemary with kitchen twine and add to the pot.
  5. Dump in the canned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the basil and rosemary from the pot and discard.
  8. Either puree the soup in a blender or use a hand immersion blender to puree the soup until very smooth.
  9. Return the soup to the pot to rewarm and add the cream.
  10. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed.
  11. Serve soup warm with garnish of choice.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 2 cups

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 280Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g


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