Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Let me start by saying that I hate tomatoes.

I always have. I think I can pinpoint the origination of said hatred to a specific day about 26 years ago.

I was at my grandparents house, standing in their kitchen, when my grandfather (who was an avid gardener in his prime) tried to get me to eat a cherry tomato. “No, thank you, I’m not interested,” is what I’m sure my five-year-old mouth and body language replied. But he went ahead and force-fed me one of his tomatoes anyway.  And I’ve never been the same.

I kid. He was a nice guy — but I really do despise tomatoes.

And yes, I eat pasta, and pizza, and (very rarely) ketchup.  But those are sauces, which are loaded with delicious things like salt and sugar, and usually accompany meats and bad-carbs.

I have, for example, never, ever, enjoyed a bowl of classic tomato soup and a grilled cheese.

Until now.

See, a few years ago, I developed a Cosi addiction. Specifically to any sandwich they sell covered in brie, and to their tomato basil soup (which, in my defense is loaded up with cream, and deliciousness), so when I found a recipe to make it at home, I decided to give it a try.

This is the recipe I found:

Tomato Basil Soup
(4 servings)

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can of diced or crushed tomatoes, drained
2 cups half & half, cream, 2% milk or soy creamer, heated
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp white pepper
Salt to taste

*A few notes — I didn’t have fresh garlic this time, so I just increased the amount of garlic powder accordingly. I also like to buy tomato sauce instead of diced or crushed, because then you don’t have to put everything through the blender. The first time I used half and half, and this time I used cream. Cream is better, omg. Also, I might need to see a cardiologist. Finally, the seasoning was a little on the light side, I thought. I added a bit more of everything the recipe called for this time (3 tsp sugar, 2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp salt). I also added 1 tsp of dried basil in addition to the fresh — but I think you could add even more if you can’t get your hands on fresh basil, and it would be fine.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add drained tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with a stick blender in the saucepan or transfer to a blender to puree. Return to saucepan and stir in heated creamer, fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, white pepper and salt to taste.

Last night I made a double batch to take to my beautiful cousin, who just had a baby — but it was so good (damn you, heavy cream!) I was sitting there hoping none of my containers would be big enough to take it all to her, and then I could keep some for myself.

Make this for dinner — and use cream, if your heart and your waistline can handle it.

You’ll thank me (your doctor will not.)



11 thoughts on “Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

  1. OMG. Fresh basil makes a HUGE difference. I usually grow it in the summer. Be careful though – there are a lot of varieties of fresh basil out there, and they can have very different tastes. My fav is Genovese Basil, and it looks like spinach:

    Save me some soup. Can’t wait to try. 🙂

  2. Yummy! Only had 1c light cream and 1c half & half…still was delish. Weight Watchers has a recipe …no cream:(…just chicken broth, evoo, garlic, basil and stewed tomatoes. Looks like an extra workout!

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  4. You mentioned using tomato sauce instead of canned tomatoes so that you wouldn’t have to put it through the blender. Is there a particular kind of sauce you’d recommend?

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  6. Looks delicious! Not sure if there is much of a difference in nutrition, but my favourite cream of tomato soup uses a can of coconut milk. Maybe an option? Fall is almost here, so I shall try it shortly. Thanks!

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