Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Delicious Tomato Basil Soup!
Seriously, this is possibly my new favorite soup. 'What can be so good about a tomato soup?' you ask. Oh my, where do I start? The velvety creamy texture. The underlying roasted red pepper flavor. The sharp bite of the tomatoes. The hint of basil.
So, if you live anywhere a Zupas Cafe and you've tried their Tomato Bisque, chances are, that is one of your favorite soups. I know that was the case for me. I am happy to say that I have found a way to top Zupas in my own home! It's that good!
No more tomato soup out of the can. This pretty little number does have quite a few extra steps outside of the normal 'mix milk or water with condensed soup and nuke for 3 minutes' instructions. In all honesty, most recipes I make during the weeknights aren't quite as time consuming as this one, but the results made up for it by far! On a chilly autumn November day, there's nothing better than a hot bowl of soup and a gooey stringy grilled cheese sandwich to dip into your soup. Please please... stop at the store tomorrow and pick up all the ingredients for this recipe. Your tastebuds will thank me!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from How Does She

2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes (reserve juice)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 Tablespoons flour
2 (15 oz) cans or one carton of vegetable broth
2 fresh red peppers, roasted
1 cup prepared pesto
1.5 cups half and half (low fat or fat free substitutions fine)

Note: to roast peppers, cut them in half, clean out the seeds, and place them skin side up on a broiler pan. Broil them for about 20-25 minutes or until you notice the majority of the skin turning black. Don't be alarmed - they're not burned! Remove from oven and let cool. When fool enough to handle, peel off the black skins and cut in large chunks. Don't skip the red peppers! They're the secret ingredient!
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Squeeze out seeds of tomatoes and arrange them on baking sheet. Sprinkle them with brown sugar. Bake until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes are caramelized (about 30 minutes).

Heat butter, onion, and tomato paste in large pot. The onions will take on a gorgeous color at this point. Saute until onions soften.

Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add vegetable broth and reserved tomato juice. Bring to a boil.

Add tomatoes and peppers and puree until smooth with an immersion blender. Or you can remove from pot in small batches and puree in a food processor or blender.

Return to put, simmer for 15 minutes. Five minutes before serving, add pesto and half and half.
Look at that beautiful green!
If you want to get real fancy, drizzle your cream over the top of each individual bowl. Classy.

It only took about 0.25 seconds to go from THIS...

To THIS!... mmmmmmmmmmmm


  1. you're doing it!!! this soup looks incredible! major! congratulations on this beautiful space that you've created! i'm proud of you! and also totally excited to come back. love, joy the baker.

  2. @Joy - thank you Joy for coming by and checkin' out the place :) glad you like it... and believe me, this is some soup that you must try!