Tomato Basil Soup
I LOVE soup! Just about any kind of soup in any kind of weather, hits the spot for me. It is easy to make, versatile and filling. This Tomato basil soup is no different and it is one of my absolute favorites. You probably have ingredients on hand at any given time to throw together a pot of yummy soup. Tomato soup in any form is something me and my family love to eat. Along side a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or grilled cheese croutons, it is to die for! Some days you just don’t feel like making a big fussy dinner and a good hearty soup will fill in nicely. You can serve it with a sandwich, like a grilled cheese, or with a simple fresh slice of French bread or simply some saltines. Whichever way you like it, this soup fits the bill!
This is a simple but delicious soup that’s ready in less than half an hour and so much more tasty than any canned soup out there. You can make it plain tomato soup or add basil and parmesan (which is my standard version). A chunk of parmesan rind will also boost the flavor if you happen to have a fresh parmesan block, just break or cut a piece of the rind off and throw it in the pot, but remember to take it out before serving. Note* I always buy fresh parmesan wedges at my local warehouse store (you know the one I mean, ok Costco), and I keep a bag of the rind in my freezer at all times. Never throw it out! It’s a great flavor booster for tomato soup and any pasta sauce that you would normally put some grated parmesan in. Just toss a piece of the rind in while your sauce simmers, and remove it before serving. If you have fresh basil as opposed to dried, you will definitely taste the difference, but either is fine. If using dried herbs, let the soup simmer a bit longer to infuse the flavor of the herbs better. You can also make it a creamy tomato soup with the addition of heavy cream.
I usually always make grilled cheese sandwiches or grilled cheese croutons to go with this soup. The kids especially love the croutons (just make a grilled cheese as usual, then I remove the crusts and cut the sandwich into about 16 cubes). Then serve an extra sandwich or half a sandwich along side, because the croutons are gone in a flash!
If you want a more filling soup, you can add pre made gnocchi (pictured below with a creamier tomato soup base).
Tomato Basil Soup
- 1 large (28 oz) can of good quality Italian whole tomatoes
- ½ bottle passata (plain or with basil) strained tomatoes (I use Mutti Brand)
- 1 L chicken stock Use vegetable stock if making vegetarian version
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 T. EVOO
- 1-2 T. sugar (or shredded carrots 1/2 cup) see notes*
- 1-2 T. Fresh or dried basil if you have it
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (and a piece of rind) plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (more if desired)
- ½ onion, diced
- In a medium pot over med-hi heat, add Olive oil and onions and sauté until translucent 1-2 minues. If you are using carrots for sweetness, add them at this time as well.
- add garlic (minced) and stir,
- Add canned tomatoes (crush or mash them as you put them in-I crush them with my hands), passata and chicken stock and stir. Add Sugar, if using
- Add salt and pepper and let simmer for about 15 minutes, taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed
- Add Basil, grated fresh parmesan (and 1" piece of parmesan rind) and cream. Stir to combine
- Process with a hand immersion blender in the pot, or alternatively in a blender
- If using a blender, fill blender up halfway and hold the lid down with a towel to prevent the lid from coming off due to the heat.
- Puree in batches until its all done. Let simmer for 5 more minutes to let flavors combine.
- Just before serving add additional parmesan or basil to taste.
- Taste and adjust, you can’t really mess this up. if its too tangy, add
- another tsp of sugar
- remove the parmesan rind, if you used one.