Okay, so I have been searching for a tomato soup recipe for quite some time. I never seem to like the ones I've tried this far. Panera Bread has some pretty awesome tomato soup and so does Genuardis (my grocery store) but I could never quite get it right. This recipe I found on the Food Network with Michael Chiarello. I adjusted the recipe in a few areas in order to make more and cut down on the oil (there was WAY too much). SOO, this recipe isn't identical but I think it's better :). Hope you enjoy it! The only thing I would suggest if you don't like the texture of pureed soups, then use a food mill to make it smooth. (I don't own one) However, I don't mind it and I think it's delicious!
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 stalk celery, diced
2 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons butter
2 T. dried basil or 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Strain the canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice up veggies and then in a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir. (The tomato paste is to give the soup a little darker color). Add the dried basil now, otherwise wait until the end if you are using fresh.
Cook another minute.
Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Now, add fresh basil and cream, (if using). Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Or puree in batches in a food processor. Can't wait to one day get an immersion blender...life would be so much simpler..If anyone wants to give me one, by all means, I'll take it! :)
I usually add a dollop of sourcream and a few homemade croutons.
Enjoy! I'd love to hear feedback if you try this!
*A Storage Tip*
Once the soup has cooled, I usually pour two ladles full into plastic cups. Enough for a single serving. This batch made 9 servings. I think I may double it next time so I have more for freezing. I then placed them into the freezer. Once frozen, I cut the cup and pull it away (they can be recycled if you are worried about landfills :) ) and placed in a couple gallon freezer bags. Then whenever I want a soup for lunch. I just toss one in a smaller Ziploc baggie and take it to work. I usually just microwave for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.