Thursday, March 14, 2013

a yummy twist on tomato soup and grilled cheese

I don't know about you, but I totally get stuck in a rut about what to have at lunch. I'm always pinning fun lunch ideas on Pinterest, but rarely follow through and then find myself at the deli counter, once again, getting my weekly pound of deli meat and 1/2 lb of cheese. Last week, I decided to make a few things I could freeze and pull out for lunch time. I made spaghettio's, which were a hit, black bean soup, and this yummy tomato basil soup. I've made it before and always love it, and my daughters wanted some and they loved it, too. I saw an idea on Pinterest for grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches and thought that sounded so good to go along with it. I had part of a leftover block of mozzarella cheese that I used, and a loaf of frozen focaccia bread in the freezer that I thought would be good for the sandwich. (I used this recipe for the focaccia-I made it a few weeks ago to compare it side by side with my new focaccia recipe. I've decided I still really like it for sandwiches because it rises a little more, while my new one is my favorite for soup.) The two went great together and our lunch was much better than usual (I'll still buy my deli meat and cheese, but it's great to mix things up and not have the same thing daily!), so I plan on making this more often. I doubled the recipe and froze it in batches. 

Tomato Basil Soup
recipe mine

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

28 oz canned diced tomatoes or tomato puree 

1 cup water plus two chicken bullion cubes (or two cups chicken broth and you can add bouillon for extra flavor)
2 Tbsp. butter
2Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp. dried
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, if desired (i find this soup salty enough on its own after using chicken bullion)

D I R E C T I O N S :

Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of oil until tender.

Puree or chop canned tomatoes to desired texture. If using home canned tomatoes, press through mesh sieve to remove seeds. 
Add tomatoes to onion and garlic. 

Add one cup water and two bullion cubes, or chicken broth. Let simmer over medium heat for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan, and stir in the flour to form a roux. Add to soup mixture after it has finished simmering, and stir until well combined.
Add basil, salt and pepper.
Add a little cream or half and half, if you want.

If using diced tomatoes, you can puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency.

Great with ciabattafocacciafrench bread, with a salad, or even on its own. You could also grate up some good cheese on top, or add a dollop of sour cream. Yum!

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