With the cold and dreary weather that we have had the last few days, sometimes nothing warms the heart and soul like a big bowl of soup. If you have fond memories of eating canned tomato soup as a kid experience that feeling again with a homemade, more grown-up version. Served with a grilled cheese sandwich or simply a big piece of crusty bread, this soup makes a great lunch or a light supper.
Especially when making soup, be sure to lightly season with salt and pepper as you go. This helps ensure that the soup is perfectly seasoned.
To chiffonade basil, stack a few leaves on top of each other and then roll up like a cigar. Using a sharp knife, cut basil crosswise into thin ribbons.
For now, you can find basil in the produce departments of grocery stores, including Reasor’s, but before too long, you can plant your herb garden outside. It's much cheaper than buying them from the grocery stores and there is just something about planting your own that gives such a feeling of accomplishment.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed with hands or a potato masher
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup packed, chiffonaded basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400.
Place tomato halves on baking sheet and drizzle oil over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 45 minutes – one hour.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat; add olive oil and butter. Add onion and red pepper flakes to skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until onions are just beginning to turn barely golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add canned tomatoes, sugar, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil and thyme. Discard the bay leaf.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, being careful to only pulse at first so the steam can escape.
Wipe out the Dutch over and fill with pureed soup. Add cream and bring to a bare simmer. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
Makes 10 cups