At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

The colder weather is here.  One of my favorite things about fall and winter is being able to enjoy all the delicious soup and stew recipes I have collected. One of my new favorites is a homemade tomato soup that actually has a lot more vegetables in in than just tomatoes.  I am not usually a fan of tomato soup, but a while back, I tried someones tomato basil soup and fell in love.  I immediately went home and started searching for a version I could make myself.  
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!

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