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Flavor From Scratch: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato soup is the perfect pair for grilled cheese. It's like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together. Or like ice cream and chocolate syrup. Bread and butter. Turkey and stuffing. Pancakes and syrup. Wow...apparently the only pairs I can come up with are food related. Such is life.

Note how since this is fancy tomato soup I cut my grilled cheese into fancy strips. Yeah, I felt cool about that. Don't judge. Another favorite is the diagonal cut. If you want to be boring you can cut it straight down the middle. I'm *pretty* sure it tastes the same any way you cut it. And by pretty sure I mean 107% sure. So just cut it fancy for fun.

I had a boatload of tomatoes piling up from our backyard so I decided to make tomato soup! This recipe certainly does the trick. It's a little sweet from the tomatoes, a little smoky from roasting the tomatoes, a little spicy from the red pepper flakes, a little creamy from the half and half, and a burst of freshness from the basil. YUM. YUM. YUM.

I tried a couple of ways of roasting the tomatoes. I found online that you can grill them after cutting them in half and tossing in olive oil. Everything you find online is a perfect solution, obviously. It was a beautiful thing...until I tried to flip them and they mostly ended up between the grates or stuck to the grates. I might have missed something there. Anyways, the oven roasted method worked MUCH better and was MUCH easier. Plus you don't  have to haul your grill out of hiding to complete this!

recipe slightly adapted from The Novice Chef
prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 45 minutes
yield: 3-4 servings

  • approximately 30 small tomatoes (or two 14.5-ounce cans of roasted tomatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or other stock)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Turn oven to broil. Cover baking sheet in foil. Toss tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place on baking sheet. Broil in oven for 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes over and broil another 2-3 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cooled. Remove the peel from the tomatoes (they should basically fall off) and cut tomatoes into large chunks. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add 5 of the cloves of garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add chicken stock and half and half. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add last garlic clove, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and use immersion blender to blend until smooth. You can also transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. If not to your desired consistency, return to stove to simmer another 5 minutes, or until thickened.

I used San Marzano tomatoes from our garden for this recipe. I would also recommend Roma tomatoes. If you use canned roasted tomatoes, you will only need 2 tablespoons of olive oil since the other half is for the roasting process.

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