Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I was reading my friend good friend Jourdan's blog - she also has found a love for cooking and domestic life! - and saw this yummy recipe for homemade creamy tomato soup (original recipe from Our Life in the Kitchen).  While my body hates me for loving tomato soup - heartburn alert! - I just can't get enough of a really great tomato soup. With a few modifications, this one definitely did the trick. It was such a rich and creamy soup and perfect with grilled cheese. John loved it and told me to add it to "the rotation" of his favorite dishes. I hope it warms a rainy day in your house too! :)

*1 1/2 pounds fresh roma tomatoes, quartered (9 tomatoes in my case)
*1/2 large yellow onion, diced
*less than 1/4 cup Arborio rice, uncooked (I found it on the bottom shelf of the rice section & this is the rice usually used for risotto)
*low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable broth for you vegetarians!), ~26 oz (I used a whole container of Swanson's version but wish I would have used 1 cup less. I'd pour out one cup and then pour in the whole container)
*olive oil
*2 good pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
*3 small garlic cloves, minced
*fresh basil leaves, ~6
*1/4 cup half and half (1 part heavy cream with 1 part skim milk)
*seasoning: dried basil, salt, pepper
*good pinch of brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons


*Heat a few tablespoons (a few good drizzles) of olive oil in a large stock pot. Add diced onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until browned.

*When onion is almost done cooking, add minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and pinch of brown sugar. Mix around and allow to cook for another minute or so.

*Add quartered tomatoes and chicken stock. Make sure you add enough so that it just covers the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Then add rice and simmer, on low, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked through.

*Once rice is cooked through, add in about 6 torn basil leaves and stir. (This is when I decided it was too brothy and removed about a cup of the broth, being careful to keep in the tomatoes and basil. This is also why I suggest using one less cup to begin with, but it's your choice. I like thicker tomato soup.)

*Transfer mixture to blender and blend until smooth. Return blended mixture to pot and add half and half, stirring well. Add a teaspoon (or more) of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or more) and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir well.

*Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and garnish with fresh basil! Yum! :)

Browned onion. I like to make sure mine is really browned so that the onion stays sweet.

Adding in tomatoes.

The chicken stock I used. Again, I recommend using a cup less than the whole container.

My interpretation of "less than 1/4"

Looking a bit too brothy for me. Time to remove a cup - without removing tomatoes or basil leaves or rice, a tricky endeavor!

Yum :)

Grilled cheese - in the panini maker! = perfect for dipping in your soup

A closer look at the consistency of the soup.

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