CREAMY TOMATO AND BASIL SOUP

Mr. Ketchup is currently undergoing training for the air force in a city that is about 4 hours away from our home. He always complains about the food on the base and is so excited to eat real food when he comes home on the weekend so I try to make it good. He really enjoyed this recipe, which always makes me really happy to hear. I’m already planning on what to make him for next weekend….maybe stromboli? Not sure yet.
I must admit I’m not a huge fan of soup, although I’m beginning to realize that I’m not a huge fan of canned soup. My favourite soup has to be tomato soup, and when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light I knew I had to make it. I can’t wait until summer roles around so I can make this with fresh tomato and basil.
You might be wondering what that little piece of bread is sitting next to my soup bowl.
THAT my friends is some incredibly delicious Italian Cheese Bread made from a Little Caesar’s Pizza Kit. Now, I purchased this kit because a. it’s delicious, b. it’s for a fundraiser and c. did I mention it’s delicious? I’ve been thinking about it for some time though…..the ingredients contain a lot of unhealthy preservatives in it yet the kit itself is actually rather simple. I’ve decided to make my own copycat recipe for this kit because I think I can make it a homemade version that tastes just as good, or better. So look for it in upcoming posts!
I think this recipe also falls under the surprisingly-easy-to-make category as well. My husband said it was wayyyyy better than store bought soup. I think it would also go well with grilled cheese croutons.

Creamy Tomato and Basil Soup

Makes enough for 4 (or 8 smaller servings as an appetizer)
4 cups chopped, seeded, peeled tomatoes (about 4 large)
4 cups low-sodium tomato juice
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (4 ounces or half a block) cream cheese, softened
Basil leaves, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
Bring tomato and juice to a boil in a large sauce pan (the one I used was a bit too large). Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Use an immersion blender (or food processor or regular blender) to process until smooth. Stir in milk, salt, and pepper.
Add cream cheese, stirring well with a whisk and cook over medium heat until thick.
Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with sliced basil, if desired.
PS- I am attempting to make macarons for the first time tonight. Wish me luck!

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