A Good Recipe Brings the Inspiration
I hate to admit this, but sometimes I veer from a recipe a bit—especially soups. I’ll read several recipes—as I did for this Creamy Tomato Soup—then shave the suggested amounts to save a few calories or substitute healthier items when possible.
After looking at tomato soup recipes from the New York Times, Taste of Home, and Pioneer Woman, I began slicing and dicing the ingredient list to suit my taste. I didn’t do anything too drastic. I used light cream instead of heavy and sautéed a small rib of diced celery with the onion mixture.
Was I Happy with the Outcome?
Well, yes and no. While using my stick blender, I splashed some of the tomato mixture onto the sleeve of a new shirt, which added to the clean up time in the kitchen. Hmm. . . come to think of it, maybe I need a long-sleeved apron.
But all was made well when I sat down to this yummy bowl of homemade tomato soup an hour later. I made a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it rather than the Cheese Toasts suggested in the recipe. Having a soup/sandwich combo for lunch was a habit left over from my youth, which made the meal all the more enjoyable.
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I add chopped celery rib)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 28-oz, cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 Tbs. brown sugar
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream (I used light cream)
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves chopped
- Cheese Toasts: (optional)
- 1 baguette sliced on the diagonal ¼ inch thick
- ½ cup olive oil
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 3–4 garlic cloves whole
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella sliced
- Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Stir in diced tomatoes and cook for 8 minutes stirring and mashing some of the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add brown sugar and the broth and bring to a boil.
- When soup comes to a boil reduce the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
- Puree the soup in small batches in a blender or use an immersion blender. Only put small amounts of the hot soup in the blender so as not to have hot soup exploding from the top of the blender.
- When you are done pureeing return soup to the pot and add the heavy cream. Heat through. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a cheese toast.
There is something about tomatoes and cheese that makes such a delicious combination. Creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich is a winner in my book. Love healthier versions, Jean.
I’m looking forward to a great BLT when our garden, vine-ripe tomatoes come in.