With the arrival of autumn later this month, come shorter days, cooler nights, crisp apples and colored leaves. We retreat to the cozy indoors of our homes where we might add a hint of seasonal change to our décor, light candles and look forward to warming, comfort foods.
Tomato Basil Soup is one of those foods. And there’s nothing quite like pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich. It also makes a great accompaniment to a build-your-own-sandwich bar when serving guests for lunch. I’ll make it ahead of time, and keep it warmed in a crock pot.
I have to credit my son, Ben, with this recipe. He found it, refined it, then shared it with me…at my request because it’s soup-er yummy! Hope you’ll give it a try.
Especially for serving kids: This might be one of those recipes that is difficult to get kids to eat. So here are some tips. First, serve a small portion… ¼ to ½ cup, letting it cool off a bit before you place it before them. Since it will thicken as it cools, you may need to thin the soup with a little water, and you may need to skip the basil garnish on their serving. Then, add a little extra fun. I suggest a few pieces of already cooked pasta. For older kids, try alphabet pasta. I mean, who doesn’t like to see what letters they can find…and maybe even spell something? The Hispanic section of grocery stores often have teeny-tiny alphabet pasta. Though pricey, I was able to find larger letters with DaVinci brand. Used for this purpose, the package could last a long time and may just prove to be a good investment.
Tomato Basil Soup:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1, 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt, to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup chopped basil
- Basil, thinly sliced for garnish
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot, add onions and season generously with Kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute, stirring to avoid burning.
Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer for at least 15 minutes.
Puree mixture using an immersion blender (or by carefully transferring to a blender, then returning to pot when blended.)
Stir in the pepper, cayenne, cream and basil. Let simmer for at least 15 minutes, longer for a thicker consistency. Add water if a thinner consistency is desired. Blend again to help break up the basil.
Serve up in bowls. Garnish with parmesan cheese and ribbons of basil.