Homemade Tomato Soup

I know it’s a little weird, posting up a soup recipe at the beginning of summer.  I mean heck, here in FL my temperature gauge read 90º at 830am this morning!  But for me summer means two important things…mainly it’s time to begin sipping ice cold beverages while listening to Marley on a sun drenched beach, but it also means its tomato time :)

How many of you, like me, love this fruit like no other?  I remember eating them like apples when I was a kid and even today one of my favorite snacks is sliced tomato wedges with a sprinkling of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Sadly my growing experience has been quite unsuccessful so I tend to rely on my local farmers market for the freshest beauties I can get my hands on.  And in a pinch, when you need to whip up dinner fast I always have a couple cans of organic, chopped tomatoes in my pantry.

Monday night the boy was feeling a little blah and I was trying to muster up the energy to do anything after my new workout, so I whipped up an old comfort food staple…Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  Well, Grilled Cheese for the boy and more like Tomato Soup and cheese slices for me.

This recipe is quick, darn tasty and simply tastes of summer.  It contains ingredients most cooks always have on hand and is on the table in 20 minutes or less.  So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, or just not wanting to exert a lot of energy in the kitchen, give this spin on an old comfort staple a try.

Homemade Tomato Soup
Serves 4

1 14oz can of organic chopped tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup homemade chicken stock
¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves
¼ cup half and half

Preheat your oven to 450º and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Open a can of tomatoes and drain, reserving the juices.  Place the drained tomatoes on the foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Toss into your preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes. 

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large saucepan over medium low heat, add the ¼ cup of olive oil, diced onion and garlic cloves.  Cook for 10 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.  Remove the tomatoes from the oven and transfer them to the pot with the onions and garlic.  Make sure you get as much of the charred bits and as much of the juices into the pan as possible.  Add the chicken stock and the reserved tomato juices and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil and ¼ cup of half and half.  Using a hand held immersion blender, food processor or plain old blender puree the mixture until it becomes a soup like consistency.  You can also take this a step further and pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, but I prefer mine with little bits of tomato and basil.  Return the pureed soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and alongside your favorite melted cheese creation for dunking.


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