Once again, the food network website pulled through for me, providing a relatively simple and very delicious recipe that my family loves. This recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes, but I have also made it with fresh and frozen tomatoes, all with great results. If I use canned tomatoes, I use the fire roasted for a little extra flavor. The original recipe called for a lot more olive oil and some butter, but why add extra fat to a healthy soup?
|Not as red as traditional tomato soup, but don't let the color fool you, this is delicious!|
Tomato Basil Soup (This makes enough to feed the four of us with no leftovers)
2 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes (or the fresh/frozen equivalent)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 stalks celery, diced (with leaves)
2 small carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (I use the jarred stuff)
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves (I used my frozen stash from this post)
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I used low fat evaporated milk)
Preheat oven to 450. Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 2 T. of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.
I think this recipe would also be great if you added some peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange), a potato or a little cauliflower as well. As I do with all my recipes, I will continue to experiment with this one.
I usually serve it with a plain old grilled cheese sandwich or garlic toast. Enjoy!