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.
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
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.)