Monday, September 24, 2012

{ rich & creamy tomato basil soup }

It's chilly outside, and if you breathe in deep enough, you can almost smell the first frost in the air. The leaves are changing, and the world is pumpkiny and perfect. I love fall so very much -- it never ever gets old.

We're heading to a local apple orchard this afternoon to do some picking, so I thought having a warm pot of soup waiting on us when we return would be a comforting and perfect way to end the day.

Tomato basil soup sounded like a good choice, only this one is super-naughty. The butter and cream can be tasted (and savored!) in every bite.

I doubled the usual recipe this time, as I wanted plenty of leftovers. So don't be confused by some of my pictures if things look excessive. The normal recipe makes plenty for a family dinner though.

Sidenote: Ty, the husband who doesn't like chunky, vegetable stuff, says this is the "best" tomato soup he's ever eaten. Aidan, my 6-year-old son who is also the pickiest eater on planet Earth, loved it. Paige, my 2-year-old who eats anything, ate this too (so her opinion on the subject is actually no big deal). ;)

Rich & Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
(adapted from chef in training)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  •  1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chicken base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans petite-diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, more if needed TT
  • 1/2 teaspoon salts, more if needed TT
  • milk, if needed, to thin to desired consistency

  • Process
    1. Melt butter over medium heat in heavy saucepan or dutch oven.
    2. Once melted add garlic and sauté for a minute or two.
    3. Stir in flour and make a roux, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
    4. Once roux is formed, slowly pour in half and half and light cream, stirring as you pour.
    5. Stir in chicken base, diced tomatos, tomato puree, sugar, basil, pepper and salt. Stir until heated through.
    6. Using a ladle, spoon soup into blender and pulse briefly, breaking up the tomato chunks, but still leaving a nice, thick texture to the soup. Repeat, as needed, until entire batch of soup has been blended.
    7. Return soup to pot. If needed add milk to soup to thin out to desired consistency (I didn't need to add any).
    8. Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkle of grated cheese and fresh basil leaves.

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