Now that we're well past the over-eating and all-around over-indulging, it's time to start a fresh, new year on a healthy note. We fair well in our lifestyle of low-sodium and no-deep-frying repertoire of meals. Any recipe that says saute-ing goes into the oven as a baked alternative. It also makes the kitchen space much easier to maintain when grease is not involved in the cleanup. And my sweet tooth gets an express pass to dessert. :)
Soups, too, are one of my favorite meals to have around. Fresh ingredients and a quick pause in the blender is all it takes to get a satisfying meal without sacrificing flavor; a welcome respite from weeks of sweets and rich foods.
With my winter flu, I've been indulging in soups of all kinds. Chicken soup is always best, but after a week, I started craving something richer and creamier.... like, a creamy tomato soup! I try not to leave the home with my cold, so it was good that I have most of the ingredients in my pantry.....
... and remember my winter tomato plant? It has been producing abundantly (apparently this first-time 'farmer' over fertilized it!) and I've been waiting for the right recipe to use my newly acquired soup bowl and dinner plate set in a pretty blue tint.
<span style="color: #ff3366;"><strong>INGREDIENTS
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- One small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cans peeled tomatoes
- Fresh diced tomatoes, for a bit of texture.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heavy whipping cream
<span style="color: #ff3366;"><strong>
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and stir until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
Add garlic and stir for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour in the chicken stock and add the basil. Simmer over low/medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Puree the soup with a blender to a desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Simmer another 10 minutes. <span>
Before serving, stir in cream. I was feeling a little indulgent and added </span>a extra swirl of cream!
You can serve this with a sprinkling of Italian cheese, extra basil, a little drizzle of olive oil, some warm homemade garlicy croutons, a toasty grilled cheese sandwich or just straight up plain; any way I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
We did have one casualty in the production of this basil tomato soup. I got over zealous with my love for basil, and now we have a bald basil plant... but it was such a pretty meal that I feel almost back to my old self again. :p