Friday, November 15, 2013

Simple, Delicious Tomato Basil Soup

We're in full-on soup mode around here.
Robert is less than thrilled

Here's one thing we've discovered - he grew up eating very differently than we do. He once said, very nicely, "I just don't like most of the stuff you make." Recently, he clarified by saying, "Oh mom, it's not that you're a bad cook, you just use ingredients I don't like."

That's the problem - ingredients. And it's not the specific ingredients I use, it's that I use ingredients.

This kid was raised on a steady diet of chips and frozen pizza and boxed everything.

You know me, I'm not about to hate on chips or frozen pizza. But there's something to be said for having lots of "ingredienty" foods between the nights I completely give up entirely. (And those nights definitely happen.)

This is my all-time favorite tomato soup.

But let me clarify.

I have never in my life had a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup. I had lots of other kinds of Campbell's soup as a kid, but never tomato. Turns out my mom wasn't a fan, and you know how that goes.

A couple years ago I accidentally tasted the elusive soup and was shocked to see it was basically the sauce from Spaghettios. Yikes.

(True, I've always had a soft spot for Spaghettios. The story keeps getting weirder, right?)

Long story short, I decided I love tomatoes, but don't like tomato soup.

That all that changed a year or so ago.

I found a recipe that looked fresh and simple and I gave it a whirl. It  was alright, but there were still things that bugged me. So I tweaked it and twerked it.

Okay, no, there was actually zero twerking involved.

The end result is the stuff snowy Indiana evenings are made of. It's flavorful and creamy, not too chunky but with a little bit of texture.
I'm confident it'll translate swimmingly to any region or climate.

This week, I served it with a very high-brow partner - refrigerator biscuits stuffed with Velveeta.
OH MY WORD, these two were meant to be together! (Flatten out two biscuits, stick a cube of Velveeta in the middle, crimp edges together, bake on a baking sheet according to package directions.)

5-Ingredient Tomato Basil Soup

1 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced (if they're really small cloves, use more!)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 28-oz can regular crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken (or veg) stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
Big fistful of chopped fresh basil (1/4 - 1/2 cup, depending on your preference. I like lots!)

Heat oil in your soup pot over medium heat and add garlic until softened, being careful not to burn it. Add both cans of tomatoes, sugar, salt, and broth. Cook at medium heat for a few minutes, then drop to low and simmer at least 10 minutes, though I usually do at least 20.

Before serving, add cream and top with basil.

Feel free to tell us about your favorite soup in the comments.

Happy Friday!