Tomato Basil Soup

This is the first time I have a made a soup from scratch, other than chili. Bear (rawr!!) with me here, it’s not perfect, but it was tasty!

This week it was flu-ish everywhere and the weather was up and down all week, but it was still pretty good soup weather. I wanted tomato soup and grilled cheese, so I decided to make some quality soup and sandwiches. LET’S GO!

To start the soup you need to get about three pounds of fresh tomatoes. You can get all the same kind, or you can vary it like I did. And you need a can of diced tomatoes of tomato chunks to add an additional pound of tomato. You also want a nice head of garlic, not too big and not too small, and some basil (the kind I bought was grown in Iowa, take that surrounding states).

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Because it’s nowhere near tomato season, you should roast the fresh tomatoes to give them a more complex flavor, and the garlic because it takes the edge off. To do this, rinse the tomatoes and slice them in half, drizzling the pan with oil and sprinkling them with a little salt and pepper. I always line my pans with foil so they are easier to clean up when I do something that will get messy like this, you should try it.

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For the garlic, cut the top off and expose all the cloves and rub some oil into it. Then wrap it up in a foil pouch. Put it on one of the pans. Throw (with all your might) the pans into the oven at 325-350 for an hour until your house smells like you are truly Italian.

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You tomatoes and garlic are roasted,

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pull them off the pan and put them into your pot.

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Make sure you take the garlic out of it’s skin though, and crush it up so there aren’t any garlic hunks floating around.

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Put the canned tomatoes in now and a few (4-6) leaves of basil into the pot as well. Turn the heat on to medium high, and add 1 and 1/2 cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock.

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Let it come to a boil, then turn it down to simmer for about twenty minutes.

Once it’s heated itself through, take it off the heat and use an immersion blender to blend it out. You might need to go a little longer than you think, my soup wasn’t quite the right texture.

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Now that it’s blended, put it back on the heat and let it go just a little bit longer. At the most 10 minutes. Right before you take it off, add a cup of half and half or cream and mix it in thoroughly. Serve it NOW! You should garnish a with a little bit of basil. Enjoy it with a yummy grilled mozzarella sandwich and it’s like a caprese meal!

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